Games as art and Kant's moral dilemma: What can ethical theory reveal about the role of the game designer as artist?

Theresa Devine, William Andrew Presnell, Samuel Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Every day we are vicariously presented with situations based on various sensory realms in which decisions must be made and actions taken. This occurs in interactive, video, audio, and textual media alike. Immersive game environments intensify this process, as James Gee states in 2003, but intrinsic learning has taken place in board games, and according to Mary Flanagan this dates back at least to 1250. On top of this, games are currently beginning to assert themselves as works of art. Considering game designers as artists raises the bar for creative responsibility. The goal of this article is to further an understanding of the role of the game designer as moral teacher and artist by studying an intersection of ethics and games. Our methodology for this study is to play through the "Tranquility Lane" quest in the video game Fallout 3 using Kant's theory and discuss creative choices in its design using the Categorical Imperative.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)277-310
Number of pages34
JournalGames and Culture
Volume9
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2014

Keywords

  • Fallout 3
  • Immanuel Kant
  • creative responsibility
  • ethics
  • games as art

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Communication
  • Anthropology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Applied Psychology
  • Human-Computer Interaction

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