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Game designers often wash their hands of ethical concerns, claiming that games are a form of expression with First Amendment rights. Yet, studies show that games with violent content can have negative effects on players.
Ethics in Game Design
Game designers are responsible for their games’ content, and they face the same moral issues that artists in any other medium do. They must balance their right to free expression with the needs of their audience, and they must be concerned about the impact their work has on culture.
Some developers have argued that games do not deserve special ethical considerations because they are just entertainment. Others have pointed out that video games can teach players about history and society in ways that textbooks and movies cannot.
Informants from the indie and premium companies discussed a wide range of ethical concerns when discussing game design and monetisation. They did not consider loot boxes unethical, for example, and some even thought that they were a good way to encourage players to spend more time and money on the game. But they were also very concerned about how violent or pornographic games might influence the game design.
Morality in Game Design
Stick man games have long been criticized for promoting violence, but some developers are working to explore the ethical implications of game design. For example, one company designs games based on current events, asking players to decide whether they should kill an enemy or save the lives of civilians.
Antagonists play an important role in establishing a game’s setting and motivating a player’s actions. The visual design of antagonists is especially influential, as they often suggest the character’s morality. For example, an antagonist that appears disloyal may signal betrayal; a cruel-looking villain may hint at tough fights ahead.
While it’s impossible to deny that video games can have an addictive effect, critics also argue that they promote negative social behaviors, such as racism and sexism. Many gamers and developers believe that video game designers have an ethical obligation to consider how their games will influence players.
Ethics in Game Development
Gaming is a fun and challenging way to spend time, but it’s important to remember that games are often created by for-profit companies. This leaves them open to accusations that they profit off of other people’s misery.
Video games are a powerful form of entertainment that can teach players about the world around them and help them develop critical thinking skills. They also give players a chance to escape from real life for a while and experience new adventures. But there are some issues with gaming that need to be taken into consideration, including addiction and violence.
Some critics argue that games should be regulated to limit their use by children. Others point out that games are a form of expression and should be protected under the First Amendment. Still, some games have been shown to increase aggression and a lack of empathy in children. Some developers have even gone so far as to create a game that lets players experience the effects of violence on society.
Ethics in Game Marketing
Video game developers, like any other creators of entertainment, must consider how their products will be perceived by others. The popularity of violent games, for example, has led some to argue that developers have a responsibility to create ethically-sound titles.
Another issue is the use of monetization strategies that encourage players to purchase in-game items. This can lead to a vicious cycle in which players feel compelled to spend more money on the game to obtain items they want. This can also cause ethical issues when monetization practices are used in the context of children’s games or in the face of peer pressure.
Some developers also struggle with the ethical implications of creating games based on current events. For example, Kuma Reality Games makes episodic first-person shooters based on real war scenarios, and it must balance news accuracy with the ability to produce a compelling game experience. Its reliance on real-world events can give rise to questions about profiting from disaster, and it must carefully choose which events it covers.