The “digital animal intuition:” the ethics of violence against animals in video games

Journal article


Coghlan, Simon and Sparrow, Lucy. (2021). The “digital animal intuition:” the ethics of violence against animals in video games. Ethics and Information Technology. 23(3), pp. 215-224. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10676-020-09557-9
AuthorsCoghlan, Simon and Sparrow, Lucy
Abstract

Video game players sometimes give voice to an “intuition” that violently harming nonhuman animals in video games is particularly ethically troubling. However, the moral issue of violence against nonhuman animals in video games has received scant philosophical attention, especially compared to the ethics of violence against humans in video games. This paper argues that the seemingly counterintuitive belief that digital animal violence is in general more ethically problematic than digital human violence is likely to be correct. Much video game violence against animals has at least some potential, even if only a modest one, to contribute to moral indifference toward animals and to their routine mistreatment. These possible effects have ethical implications for animals, society, players, and video game designers.

Keywordsvideo games; animals; violence; ethics; philosophy
Year2021
JournalEthics and Information Technology
Journal citation23 (3), pp. 215-224
PublisherSpringer
ISSN1388-1957
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1007/s10676-020-09557-9
Scopus EID2-s2.0-85090476131
Page range215-224
Publisher's version
License
All rights reserved
File Access Level
Controlled
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online09 Sep 2020
Publication process dates
Deposited14 Jul 2021
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