Miguel Sicart on the ethical player

The Ethics of Computer Games

I’ve spent the last 3 days on the conference Philosophy of Computer Games. It was really quite intersting, although the different talks were of varying interest to me as a game designer. But this post is not about the conference, but rather one of the speakers.

Miguel Sicart, Assistant Professor of the IT University of Copenhagen, had a great keynote on the last day of the conference. It was called No More Homo Ludens: Designing for an Ethical Player. It was basically about the ethic dimension in (not of) games, a criticism of the current state and thoughts on how to improve designs that deals with ethics. It was not only very intersting, but thought provoking.

I might write more about it later, but for now I just want to mention Miguel’s book The Ethics of Computer Games, which I’m about to order. Quoting the product description on Amazon.com:

In this first scholarly exploration of the subject, Miguel Sicart addresses broader issues about the ethics of games, the ethics of playing the games, and the ethical responsibilities of game designers. He argues that computer games are ethical objects, that computer game players are ethical agents, and that the ethics of computer games should be seen as a complex network of responsibilities and moral duties. Players should not be considered passive amoral creatures; they reflect, relate, and create with ethical minds. The games they play are ethical systems, with rules that create gameworlds with values at play.

If you’re at all interested in the topic, you should look into this man’s writings. I’ll write more on the topic when I’ve read the book.

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