Coping with offline prohibited actions in gamespace: A psychological approach to moral well-being in gamers
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AbstractVideo games provide virtual spaces for the representation and enactment of prohibited offline behaviour, be it in the form of more conventional violence (e.g., assault, killings, murder) or other forms of taboo violation (e.g., torture, rape, even cannibalism). This chapter considers the ways in which gamers cope with the moral freedoms afforded by gamespace and the strategies adopted by gamers to morally manage and otherwise cope with virtual behaviours that are severely prohibited offline. We argue that virtual acts of violence and taboo (as noted above) should not be judged by a moral system constitutive of our offline world. Instead, the permissibility of virtual representation and interaction should be informed by psychology rather than morality. This chapter therefore provides an overview of psychological research investigating factors which have been shown to impact on gamers’ moral-well being, as well as strategies for managing virtual violence and taboos. It also proffers a new direction for research into gamers and game content, in the hope that it will provide further insight into who is more susceptible to the potential negative impact of video game violence on moral well-being.
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WHITTY, M; Young, G, Coping with offline prohibited actions in gamespace: A psychological approach to moral well-being in gamers, International Journal of Ethics, 2012, 8 (3), pp. 237 - 262