Playing with Good and Evil: Videogames and Moral Philosophy

Peter Rauch

Peter Rauch

Despite an increasingly complex academic discourse, the videogame medium lacks an agreed-upon definition. Its relationship to previous media is somewhat unclear, and the unique attributes of the medium have not yet been fully catalogued. Drawing on theory suggesting that videogames can convey ideas, I will argue that the videogame medium is capable of modeling and critiquing elements of moral philosophy in a unique manner. To make this argument, I first address a number of questions about the proper definition of videogames, how games in general and videogames specifically convey ideas, and how games can be constructed to form arguments. Having defined my terms, I will conduct case studies on three games (Fable, Command & Conquer: Generals, and The Punisher), clarifying how the design of each could be modified to address a specific philosophical issue.

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