Ethics and Computer Games


We may roughly divide ethics into three types: Meta Ethics, Descriptive ethics and Normative ethics. In this course it is the descriptive and the normative ethics that are focused on. Descriptive ethics does not consider right and wrong, but just says something about how things are; You shall not download pirated movies because it is prohibited by Norwegian law. Normative ethics on the other hand discusses different assessments of what is right and wrong; You shall not download pirated movies because this supports uploading and distribution of pirated movies.

In the following we will focus on ethics related to computer games; both in relation to the actions you perform as a player and the choices game developers take when developing video games.

Let’s continue to explore a bit the notion of “fair” and “unfair” games, and the points of Utilitarian and Kantian views.


The discussions concerning ethics of computer games are many, and in the following I’ve added some interesting videos:

Video GamTwoe Ethics

Game Design: Morality Systems

David Perry: Are games better than life? (TED Talks)

Gaming can make a better world: Jane McGonigal on


Two classical FPS who both have built in some ethical filters


And now…Quiz time!!


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