Ethics, a branch of philosophy which defineswhat is good for individuals and society. At the games industry grows more andmore people are engaging with games on various platforms. Add to this the everdeveloping technology that not only makes games more realistic, but changes theway we interact them and then the Ethical Issues in the gaming industry becomesmore important than ever. Now let us critically identify those above identifiedethical issues.
Initially I’ll discuss about the basicEthical Issue “Violence”. Now a days games are being mostly developed based onviolence and content related to violence. This may lead the one who play suchsort of games to follow those kind of violent activities such as KillingInnocent People, Theft, etc. in their real life too. These sort of issues willhave impact on both the Children and Adolescents. This can be proved by a realworld example which held at America where two players were affected by the gameFirst “Manhunt”. This game was more controversial and it is based on huntingother people and killing innocent people in most awful way. Those two playerswere got inspired by that game and they got real guns in their hands to go on atwo hour long killing process.
But somehow police were managed to shot thosetwo. This also led to ban the second edition of the game “Manhunt” by BritishBoard of Film Classification and the game developers edited out the mostviolent parts and lifted the ban in 2008. So this is how Violence plays as anEthical Issue in Gaming Industry. It affects the individual’s life and leadingthem into an awkward path which may be end in danger.The next ethical issue I’m going to discuss isAddiction. This is also concerned as a Social Issue too. But here I’m going toexplain in an ethical perspective. This is one of the most debated issues in thegaming industry.
And also the addiction can be seen mostly towards ViolentVideo Games. According to Jimmy Dan et.al (n.d) video games such as ‘MortalCombat’, ‘Warcraft’ and ‘Grand Theft Auto’ are highly addictive and he alsohave been stated that how addiction affects an individual’s life.
This also exhibitsthat only limited number of gamers will like to buy normal games rather thanthat of highly addictive games. Most of the game developers will develop gamesby targeting teenagers as their target customers since teenagers are addictedto insistent games. As a consequence of this practice it directly violates theuniversal ethical principles respect for others, honesty and fairness.
Individualsmight also get affected by losing their valuable time in spending with gamesrather than spending it in a more beneficial way.Representation of Sensitive Information ingames is another ethical issue aspect in gaming. Even though it is illegal infilms it is not so much in games, but there are situations which this willhappen depending on the developer and the title. Since now no games have been supportedthis issue except one game “Devil May Cry”. This game forced the religiousoutcry. This can be cited as an example of this ethical issue where this game claimJesus as a devil and was banned in US for about one week and the court liftedits ban considering it was just as afiction.
So developers must take into account that they should not create a pathto create a bad image to any Gender or Race, especially Religion since all ofus are following some sort of religion. And at last I would like to describe aboutthe Ethical Issue, Formation of Cheats for Games which is crucial nowadays. As Imentioned above this sort of issue can be mostly seen in Multiplayer OnlineGames. Is it ethical to cheat one player of a game where the other uses thecheat codes to play it? Where Cheating launch the various perceptions similarto, if the gamers could use cheats and if the game is less complicated to playwhy do we have to play without cheating? According to Morch (2003) 35% of thegames being hacked in 1997 and now it is growing drastically due to theadvancement of technology. He even says that the hackers uses two differentmethods such as Cheating by Conspiracy and Cheating by modifying games softwareor data.
Mostly they do this for some specific things such as to make money, tonot to lose the winning streak in a game, etc. Here I would cite an example, agame called “Battlefield” which launched in 1942 had a great market andsuddenly it went down due to some cheats formated for that game by hackers. Accordingto Aboukhadijeh (2009) those hackers and cheaters are a real threat to thegaming industry and also they take unethical advantage by violating the ethicalprinciples such as Respecting Others, Treating others in an equal manner, Honestyand Acting with Integrity.