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Virtual Morality

December 21, 2008

As technology advances and drags us into different spheres of reality we must re-examine the choices we make as virtual actors. Where does morality stand in these brave new worlds?

Games like Second Life and Grand Theft Auto allow players to experience virtual life with no lasting consequence. Anything goes. In Grand Theft Auto morally dubious things you can do include sex with prostitutes, killing civilians, killing cops, stealing cars and generally spreading fear and destruction. But why stop there – what is the difference between virtual murder and virtual rape? What makes one right and another so taboo? Of course if this was included in the game there would likely be mass public outrage but explaining exactly why virtual sex and murder are acceptable, and virtual rape isn’t, is not easy.

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