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The gamer’s dilemma: An analysis of the arguments for the moral distinction between virtual murder and virtual paedophilia

Abstract

Most people agree that murder is wrong. Yet, within computer games virtual murder scarcely raises an eyebrow. In one respect this is hardly surprising, as no one is actually murdered within a computer game. A virtual murder, some might argue, is no more unethical than taking a pawn in a game of chess. However, if no actual children are abused in acts of virtual paedophilia (life-like simulations of the actual practice), does that mean we should disregard these acts with the same abandon we do virtual murder? In this paper I shall outline several arguments which attempt to permit virtual murder, whilst prohibiting virtual paedophilia.

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Correspondence to Morgan Luck.

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Luck, M. The gamer’s dilemma: An analysis of the arguments for the moral distinction between virtual murder and virtual paedophilia. Ethics Inf Technol 11, 31–36 (2009). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10676-008-9168-4

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10676-008-9168-4

Keywords

  • computer games
  • virtual murder
  • virtual paedophilia