We explore controversial ethical issues about video games (e.g. what should be censored), in video games (e.g. what counts as cheating), and in video game design (e.g. what works to make a game morally interesting). Your hosts are Shlomo Sher, Ph.D. (Philosophy Professor and Video Game Ethicist) and Andy Ashcraft (Veteran Video Game Designer and Professor).
Covid games & just how do you make a responsible ethical decision?
How can you responsibly design a game about an ongoing tragedy like the corona-19 pandemic? How can you make ANY moral decision responsibly? In this episode we introduce a step-by-step approach to think through any ethical decision – using the creation of a game based on the corona pandemic as our example.
Fairness in Esports with Matti Karhulhti
Esport is in some ways similar to traditional sport competitions, but in other ways is a totally new kind of enterprise. In this episode we chat with Dr. Matti Karhulati, who researches esports, about some of the unique concerns about fairness that arise in competitive gaming.
How Games Make Us Better People with Karen Schrier
When people talk about games and ethics, it’s almost always about potential moral problems with gaming – things like violence, sexism, and addiction. It’s almost as if games couldn’t do anything good for the world other than just be fun. But video games can also provide us with great opportunities for becoming better people! As our guest, game scholar and author, Karen Schrier, argues in her new book, games are already teaching us ethics and civics.
Video Games and Our Real Bodies with Rob Cover
We’re used to thinking about games as fantasy worlds we escape to, while leaving our bodies behind. In this traditional perspective of gaming, video games liberate us from our bodies and free us to be anyone and anything. But, is that really the case?
In this episode we speak with Dr. Rob Cover, who rejects this view and argues that it’s morally important to remember that we never leave our real bodies behind when playing video games
We Design a Game About Criminal Justice
This is the second episode in our "Andy and Shlomo design a game" series. In this game, we want to tackle the issue of crime and punishment. That’s right, we want to make a game dealing with the complex ethical questions around how we treat criminals.
Dragon City – An Ethics-Oriented Game Review
This episode is the first of a type we hope to repeat; we’ll be walking through a game, in this case ‘Dragon City’ a free-to-play game by Socialpoint games through an ETHICAL lens. It’s a game review, but instead of talking about fun or value or quality, we’ll just be talking about certain game features that might be morally problematic. These game features are not uncommon. But "everyone does it" has never been a good excuse!
Great deep dive into a very rich and relevant topic!
As someone who only mildly connects to the gaming world (a few casual games here and there), I’m finding this podcast to be a refreshing examination of the complex moral terrain around a complex industry. With struggling indie developers on one hand and vast money-making exploitative corporations on the other, the show has so far been a thoughtful examination of all sides of the ethical aspects of gameplay, design, monetization… all things worth considering if you are at all interested in the gaming ecosystem. It’s on my weekly listen list now!