This weeks reading –
Ethics in the Virtual World: Chapter 1; Introduction and Chapter 2; To Prohibit or Not Prohibit, That is the Question
Are some forms of fiction (games) unimaginable for some individuals to engage with?
Yes, I believe so. There are different limits to which people create their make-believe or are reluctant to go along with such make believe. The term “imaginative resistance” is used by Tamar Szabó Gendler to describe ones unwillingness to imagine certain fictitious content. There are many games out there which often require people to assume roles of different characters/jobs or
Is it right to prohibit certain acts in the virtual space? What might those acts be and under what circumstances?
It is the developers (humans) who give meaning and substance to video games. They decide the rules and can create and imagine anything they like. This makes prohibiting things in games far different that prohibiting things in real life
I believe that is is right to prohibit certain acts within a virtual space, especially when it may impact the moral values of the player. Things such as rape and child abuse should be prohibited within video games no matter what the age restriction. In chapter 7 Garry Young imagines a world in which gender-oppression does not exist, stating that according to Dr. Stephanie Partridge, gender-oppressive images would “likely lose their incorrigible meaning”. In this world a game such a RapeLay may not have been subject to as much moral scrutiny. This world does not exist however and so games like this a widely considered morally wrong to most of society.
Other violent acts such as murder and battery however should be allowed. This may seem a tad hypocritical, but personally I believe that child abuse or rape is on another level than murder or battery. There is also evidence that playing violent video games reduces the amount of real world crime. A study by psychologist Christopher Ferguson concluded that playing violent video games coincided with a fall in violent crime perpetrated by those in the 12-17 age group. [guardian]
Young, Garry. Ethics In The Virtual World. Durham, UK: Acumen Publishing Ltd, 2013. Print.
Stuart, Keith. “Video Games Are Not Making Us More Violent, Study Shows”. the Guardian. N.p., 2014. Web. 23 Jan. 2016.