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Ethics and Information Technology

, Volume 9, Issue 3, pp 205–217 | Cite as

Sin in cyber-eden: understanding the metaphysics and morals of virtual worlds

  • Ashley John CraftEmail author
Article

Abstract

This article uses a notorious incident within the computer program EVE Online to exemplify and facilitate discussion of the metaphysics of virtual worlds and the morality of user behavior. The first section examines various frameworks used to understand virtual worlds, and emphasizes those which recognize virtual worlds as legal contracts, as representational worlds, and as media for communication. The second section draws on these frameworks to analyze issues of virtual theft and virtual betrayal arising in the EVE incident. The article concludes by arguing that, in the absence of countervailing contractual obligations, users of virtual worlds have the same de facto duties to each other as they do in mediated and real environments.

Keywords

applied ethics computer games EVE Online massively multiplayer online role-playing games video games virtual reality virtual worlds 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of LawNew York UniversityNew YorkUSA

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