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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter Mouton 2018

14. Harm and Entertainment

Grant Tavinor

Abstract

In the last twenty years video games have become a focal point for the issue of entertainment and harm, both by comprising a significant public concern and also exemplifying the theoretical approach that many scientists and ethicists have adopted in the wider issue. This chapter investigates the prevalent harm-based attempts to assess the effects of video games and argues that this approach is largely incapable of settling the issues with the ethics of video games because of faults inherent in the empirical project of linking games to violence, but more importantly because of problems with developing such claims into an ethical evaluation of the playing or production of games. Comparing game playing to cigarette smoking - a very common rhetorical and theoretical ploy of critics of video games - actually is informative about the relationship of video games and harm, but only because the comparison shows the deep evidential and substantive differences that exist between these two cases.

© 2018 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Munich/Boston