Ludic Ethics: The Ethical Negotiations of Players in Online Multiplayer Games
AuthorSparrow, LA; Gibbs, M; Arnold, M
Source TitleGames and Culture: a journal of interactive media
University of Melbourne Author/sSparrow, Lucy
Document TypeJournal Article
CitationsSparrow, L. A., Gibbs, M. & Arnold, M. (2020). Ludic Ethics: The Ethical Negotiations of Players in Online Multiplayer Games. Games and Culture: a journal of interactive media, https://doi.org/10.1177/1555412020971534.
Access StatusOpen Access
This study introduces the ludic ethics approach for understanding the moral deliberations of players of online multiplayer games. Informed by a constructivist paradigm that places players’ everyday ethical negotiations at the forefront of the analysis, this study utilises a novel set of game-related moral vignettes in a series of 20 in-depth interviews with players. Reflexive thematic analysis of these interviews produced four key themes by which participants considered the ethics of in-game actions: (1) game boundaries, (2) consequences for play, (3) player sensibilities, and (4) virtuality. These results support the conceptualisation of games as complex ethical sites in which players negotiate in-game ethics by referring extensively – although not exclusively – to a framework of ‘ludomorality’ that draws from the interpreted meanings associated with the ludic digital context.
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