Sample Paper on The Ethics of Computer Gaming in the 21st Century

The Ethics of Computer Gaming in the 21st Century

The advances made in information technology have greatly increased the number computer games in the 21st century. In addition, computer devices have become more accessible due to their low prices making it possible for people to access different games and increasing the gaming population. Today, Computer games are easily shared between different parties at a higher level. Such sharing has seen the number of participants increase in this domain.  New gaming designs and new developments in user interface coupled with adequate marketing in different fields has increased the number of people purchasing computer games. Today, the number of people playing the computer games has risen to one of the highest in the whole world. Less people are interested in playing the traditional physical forms of games that required them to go on the field. What they require is a gaming pad and the computer game on their devices, and they will have the same effect as those going to play the same games in the field. In addition, different devices support computer games making it accessible across different platforms. Today, you can play computer games while in the car or even in class. Computer games are classified into several types. Others are sporty, others crime based while others are sexual in nature. Thus, the selection of the computer game will differ basing on individual preferences. The increased use of computer gaming among members of society raises several ethical concerns. Computer players become addicted to the game that their only focus is play the games and neglect all the other important activities in their lives. In addition, most of computer games portray issues relating to gender stereotyping while others are directly linked to violence behaviour. All of this ethical issues because computer games are unregulated.  These are example of some of the ethical issues currently facing players in the computer sector. Addiction, violent behaviour and gender stereotyping in computer games are ethical issues that arise due to lack of proper regulations governing the computer gaming.

Lack of regulations in the gaming industry has resulted in the production of computer games that contain violent material. Examples of such games include Death Race, Man Hunt and Hotline Miami.  Different studies have revealed the link between violent computer games and aggressiveness in children. Children who tend to play violent games are more likely to be aggressive in nature. Violent games have been shown to increase aggressiveness in individuals through some ways. Some of these methods include increasing psychological arousal, and aggressive thoughts, increasing aggressive emotions and actions as well as decreasing positive prosocial activities among different members of the society (Søndergaard, 2016). A good example is when there is more than one player engaging in the game. The first player engages in a non-violent game while the second one engages in a violent game. The second player is more likely to spend more time playing the game as compared to the first one. When translating some of the aspects into real life, the violent gamer tend to show more violent oriented activities. Several important ethical issues arise in such cases. The first is the social responsibility of the individual who created the game. Was the game intended for the overall good of the society and did the designer follow the utilitarian principles when designing the game? The second issue is whether violence should be accepted in different forms of media knowing very well its link with aggressive behaviour. It goes against the principles of the social virtue theory which requires order in social settings. The above ethical issues are rarely addressed during the production of different forms of art. The effect has been the use of violent games without caring the effects it has one the society.  Human beings are normally shaped by what they see. Therefore, there is a high probability that exposure to too many video games is directly linked to increased levels of violent activities.

Gender stereotyping and sexism in video games has moved to a totally new level.  Most of the games displayed have numerous nudity scenes and depict women as being sexual objects or toys. Quite a huge number of individuals in the current society who play some of this computer games are women. Additionally, most of the games involving different superheroes have always given the male species-specific roles while women play the other supportive roles despite the audience being the same (Harviainen, Brown & Suominen, 2016). However, it should be noted that the main issue at hand is the increase us of gender stereotyping activities and an increase in nudity in different scenes of different games. Since the field is still new, it remains one of the commonly exploited industries used to pass messages not acceptable in the society (Harviainen et al., 2016). At the end of the day, some of this messages have a negative impact on how society since they are considered to go against the normal norm.  The utilitarian theory that is commonly used to address major issues in the society requires that all things or activities in the society be done for the good of the society. When sexual games are played by children of different ages in the society the major question raised is whether it benefits or contributes towards the general good of the society. In reality, sexual and stereotype language used contributes nothing positive to society. Instead, it serves to destroy the foundation built by the society since issues relating to nudity and stereotypes are not encouraged by the current society. It encourages chauvinism and gender stereotyping, aspects that society is attempting to clump down (Yao, Mahood & Linz, 2010). One ideology helps explain how certain behaviors and attitudes related to gaming bring forth issues relating to stereotyping.  Men are always associated with independence, sexual virility and toughness. When men are exposed to all of the above issues than there is a higher chance they will adopt certain practices. Similarly when they view such effects from computer games their ideas are quickly translated to reality increasing aspects of the masculine ideology. The deontology theory attempts to justify the actions that lead to addiction but in no way castigate individual engaged in game addiction. It bases it argument on taking care of  all individuals at a personal level and therefore there are high chances that it opposes the utilitarian theory.

The third major ethical issue that arises in society is addiction. Too much of something is considered to be poisonous to both mind and body. Over a couple of years, evidence has accumulated that directly links excessive gaming to behavioural addiction (Kuss, 2013). Addiction is considered one of the negative mental health effects with negative psychosocial characteristics (Festl, Scharkow& Quandt, 2013). More individuals in the society have been caught up with balancing their social life and their addiction to gaming. Addiction takes away time from some of the most important activities. It effectively renders individual obsolete to some of the issues in society and more so in families. Addiction to gaming is quickly emerging as a conflict issue in families (Kuss & Griffiths, 2012). If the above issue is not resolved in time, there is a high risk that it will pass over break families. Addiction cannot blame on the designers of the game rather on the individual engaged in the game. However, some of the games used are addictive in nature. The best example being World of WarCrack. Gaming addiction has resulted in poor grades among school going children who place more emphasis on the gaming than their study.

Conversely, the unregulated use of games in the society raises certain ethical issues which need to be resolved at a faster rate. Some issues raised include the use of violence, nudity scenes and gender stereotyping as well as addiction. Most of these factors are considered to be morally unsound in today’s society.  To control some of these factors, the society will have to regulate the production of computer games using a variety of methods. First, all computer games will be rated and the amount of violence reduced to sub-minimal levels. Secondly, gender stereotyping will be eliminated from films and families will have to set limits for playing computer games



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The above paper discusses three main ethical issue that arise due to uncontrolled or unregulated computer gaming. The paper acknowledges that increase in computer gaming has been due to advances made in information technology and ease of access to most computer devices. However, failure to control this field has seen the release of computer games that contain violence and foul language as well those that incorporate issues such as gender stereotyping and nudity. In addition computer games have been linked with addiction of the game affecting the psychosocial behavior of individuals in the society.  All of the above ethical issues form a backdrop why gaming should be controlled in the society. They majorly go against the utilitarian theory that focuses on the major good of the society and the social virtue theory that creates order in society. Most actions stated in the above case are supported by the deontology theory.