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Online ethics

August 9, 2007

Go read RLP’s post on modern/online ethics.  And come back for discussion.  This should get real interesting.

Re: SecondLife.  Talk about art imitating life.  A virtual world in which the whole world revolves around interaction with others.  Do standard ethics apply?  Or do different rules apply since it’s not real people.  Since people spend real  money in that world and there is an actual economy, does that change things?

Re: Sims Online.  Any different since it’s a game?

Re: WoW (or any other subscribing MMORPG).  Just a game, but people pay for it monthly and, heck, you can actually talk to the people you’re trying to kill.

Does it boil down to: “Does the Golden Rule always apply?”

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Ian Y permalink
    August 10, 2007 1:11 pm

    Concerning WOW. People decide whether to participate in “killing each other” by signing up for a PvP server (people vs. people) where only the starting zones are safe or a PvE ( Player vs. Environment/Carebear) server. Several times I have came across characters I could kill easily but just waved and kept moving just because I know what a hassle it would for them if I killed them. However, some times I kill them and laugh and keep moving. I feel slight guilt sometimes but then I think hey they chose a PVP server so enjoy.

    BTW you can’t talk to people that you want to kill. They speak different languages and it just comes out as gibberish. However through waving and pointing and visual signs you can relate peaceful intentions.

  2. August 10, 2007 5:35 pm

    i struggle with this all the time with the kids, their Spaces and how they talk to and treat others in that arena. they swear and cry all the time it is just playing and not really real until they are the target of the drama-trauma.
    for me i try to still live and reflect the golden rule because i do know in real life some people as a result of my online activities. most turned out to NOT be axe murderers but people just like me…with the exception of my 1st born’s ex-online-boyfriend from boston who is truly a cardboard cut-out. if you see him, go ahead and run him down because he isn’t real, really,

  3. August 20, 2007 1:51 am

    I have suuuuch a hard time with this one, and all the more so when thinking through what rules our kids will have in relation to video games.

    I’m pretty ok with destruction of alien life forms a la Halo… clearly not a real-life situation, and clearly not humans being destroyed.

    For now I’m still ok with multiplayer videogame destruction of life as long as the environment is fairly un-realistic (again, a la Halo). I can’t picture a setting in which I will ever be placed with 7 other armed men with the ultimate goal of destroying each other… although I’m very aware that that setting has existed in the past. Frankly, I can see the possibility that my opinion on that one could change… and I don’t really want it to.

    Whatever happens with that, though, you will never get me to stop being a total jerk to the computer drivers while playing a driving game. Never. And that definitely, definitely falls under the category of ‘not ok in real life.’

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