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Virtual Reality and Computer Simulation

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Chapter Summary

Virtual reality and computer simulation are becoming increasingly immersive and interactive, and people are spending more and more time and money in virtual and simulated environments. In this chapter, Philip Brey begins with an overview of what virtual reality is — including the senses in which it is “virtual” and the senses in which it is “real.” He then discusses a set of issues that are connected to the representational nature of virtuality — i.e. the possibility of misrepresentation, biased representation, and indecent representation — before examining behavior in virtual environments. Brey argues that behavior in virtual environments can be evaluated according to how it affects users of the environments — for example, property can be stolen in virtual environments and too much time and emotion spent in virtual environments can be detrimental to living well. Finally, Brey discusses several issues associated with video games, including their impact on children and gender representation and bias in them. A theme that runs throughout the chapter is the way in which the designs of virtual environments are value laden — they express values, structure choices, and encourage evaluative attitudes.

Keywords

  • Virtual Reality
  • Computer Game
  • Virtual Environment
  • Virtual World
  • Play Computer Game

These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

This Chapter is excerpted from Philip Brey (2008) ‘Virtual Reality and Computer Simulation,’ The Handbook on Information and Computer Ethics, eds. Himma and Tavani (Wiley). It appears here by permission of Wiley and Sons, Inc.

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© 2014 Philip Brey

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Brey, P. (2014). Virtual Reality and Computer Simulation. In: Sandler, R.L. (eds) Ethics and Emerging Technologies. Palgrave Macmillan, London. https://doi.org/10.1057/9781137349088_21

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