Virtual to Virtuous Money: A Virtue Ethics Perspective on Video Game Business Logic
- 586 Downloads
In this article, we expand on the models available for defining various different business logics relevant to video game development, especially those concerning free-to-play games. We use the models to analyse those business logics from an Aristotelian virtue ethics perspective. We argue that if an individual wishes to follow the Aristotelian virtue ethics code in order to develop the virtues inherent in his or her own character (as in the personal character of the developer, not a character in the game), how he or she chooses to try and generate revenue from the fruits of his or her labour is not irrelevant. Moreover, we argue that some of these methods are in fact vices, which are damaging to the character of the developer, and should therefore be avoided.
KeywordsGame design Business logics Monetisation Virtue ethics
The authors wish to thank Juho Hamari, Pauliina Raento, and the other participants of the Games and Money Seminar, April 18–19, 2016, University of Tampere, Finland, for their valuable comments on an early work-in-progress version of this article.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of interest
All three authors declare that they have no conflict of interest relating to this work.
This article does not contain any studies involving human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.
- Alha, K., Koskinen, E., Paavilainen, J., Hamari, J., & Kinnunen, J. (2014). Free-to-play games: Professionals’ perspectives. n Proceedings of DiGRA Nordic 2014, Gotland.Google Scholar
- American Psychological Association. (2010). Ethical principles of psychologists and code of conduct. Retrieved July 7, 2016, from http://www.apa.org/ethics/code/principles.pdf.
- Aristotle (EN). (Circa 350 BCA). Nicomachean ethics. Several translations used.Google Scholar
- Beauchamp, T. L., & Childress, J. F. (2001). Principles of Biomedical Ethics (6th ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Gatignon, H., & Le Nagard, E. (2015). Manipulating consumers is not marketing: A commentary on Cass R. Sunstein’s “Fifty shades of manipulation”. INSEAD Working Paper No. 2015/87/MKT. Google Scholar
- Hamari, J. (2011). Perspectives from behavioral economics to analyzing game design patterns: Loss aversion in social games. In Proceedings of CHI’2011 (Social games workshop). Vancouver, Canada.Google Scholar
- Hamari, J., & Järvinen, A. (2011). Building customer relationship through game mechanics in social games. In M. Cruz-Cunha, V. Carvalho, & P. Tavares (Eds.), Business, technological and social dimensions of computer games: Multidisciplinary developments (pp. 348–365). Hershey, PA: IGI Global.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Hamari, J., & Lehdonvirta, V. (2010). Game design as marketing: How game mechanics create demand for virtual goods. International Journal of Business Science & Applied Management, 5, 14–29.Google Scholar
- Heimo O. I., Kimppa K. K., & Nurminen M. I. (2014). Ethics and the inseparability postulate: How to make better critical governmental information systems. In Proceedings of Ethicomp 2014, Paris.Google Scholar
- Huizinga, J. (1955). Homo ludens: A study of the play element in culture. Boston, MA: Beacon.Google Scholar
- Juul, J. (2010). A casual revolution: Reinventing video games and their players. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
- Leavitt, H. J. (1964). Applied organization change in industry: Structural, technical and human approaches. In W. W. Cooper, H. J. Leavitt, & M. W. Shelly (Eds.), New perspectives in organizational research (pp. 55–71). New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
- Lee, J. H., Clarke, R. I., & Rossi, S. (2015). A qualitative investigation of users’ discovery, access, and organization of video games as information objects. Journal of Information Science.Google Scholar
- Lehdonvirta, V., & Castronova, E. (2014). Virtual economies: Design and analysis. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
- Lehtonen, M. J., & Harviainen, J. T. (2016). Mobile games and player communities: Designing for and with clans. Design Management Review, 27(3), 20–26.Google Scholar
- MacIntyre, A. (2004). Hyveiden jäljillä: Moraaliteoreettinen tutkimus. After virtue: A study in moral theory. Translated by N. Noponen (2nd ed.). Helsinki: Gaudeamu.Google Scholar
- MacIntyre, A. (Ed.). (2007). After virtue: A study in moral theory (3rd ed.). London: Bloomsbury Publishing. (2011 imprint).Google Scholar
- Nurminen, M. I., & Forsman, U. (1994). Reversed quality life cycle model. In G. E. Bradley & H. W. Hendrick (Eds.), Human factors in organizational design and management—IV (pp. 393–398). Amsterdam: Elsevier.Google Scholar
- Pittman, M., & Bivins, T. (2016). Just war craft: Virtue ethics and DotA. In A. Davisson & P. Booth (Eds.), Controversies in digital ethics (pp. 91–106). New York: Bloomsbury Academic.Google Scholar
- Søraker, J. H. (2016). Gaming the gamer? – The ethics of exploiting psychological research in video games. JICES, 14(2), 106–123.Google Scholar
- Sprenkels, I., & van der Ploeg, I. (2011). Eeny, meeny, miny, masquerade! Advergames and Dutch children: A controversial marketing practice. In Proceedings of Ethicomp 2011. Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield.Google Scholar
- Stallman, R. M. (2015). The GNU manifesto. Retrieved July 7, 2016, from http://www.gnu.org/gnu/manifesto.en.html.
- Sunstein, C. R. (2015). Fifty shades of manipulation. Journal of Marketing Behavior, 1(3–4), 213–244.Google Scholar
- Tyni, H., & Sotamaa, O. (2014). Material culture and angry birds. In Proceedings of DiGRA Nordic 2014, Gotland.Google Scholar
- YLE (2016). Clash of Clansin uusi versio raivostutti käyttäjät—fanit masinoivat jopa lakkoa. Retreievd July 7, 2016, from http://yle.fi/uutiset/clash_of_clansin_uusi_versio_raivostutti_kayttajat__fanit_masinoivat_jopa_lakkoa/8563593.
- Zagal, J. P., Björk, S., & Lewis, C. (2013). Dark patterns in the design of games. In Proceedings of the foundations of digital games conference 2013. Crete, Greece.Google Scholar