Video Games and Virtual Ethics

Video Games and Virtual Ethics
21 July 2017, 9.30am - 22 July 2017, 6.30pm
Conference / Symposium
Bloomsbury Room, G35, Ground Floor, Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU


Video Games and Virtual Ethics

Is it morally wrong to play violent video games? Academics across numerous disciplines have taken an interest in these issues. Excellent work can be found in philosophy, psychology, media studies, sociology, and literary studies. However academics within these disciplines often do not talk to each other about their shared interest in games. With this conference, our aim is to promote cross-disciplinary dialogue on these issues.


Friday, 21 July

 9:30 – 10:20    Morgan Luck (Charles Sturt University), “Formulating the Gamer’s Dilemma”

10:30 – 11:15 Marissa Willis (Wycliffe Hall, Oxford), “The New Gamer’s Dilemma: Rephrasing the Gamer’s Dilemma as a Question of Enjoyment”

11:15 – 12:00 Rebecca Davnall (University of Liverpool), “Against ‘Ludic Ethics’”

12:00 – 1:30    Lunch

1:30 – 2:20      Stephanie Patridge (Otterbein University), “Character Selection and Gender Ideology”

2:30 – 3:15      Sarah Hodge (Bournemouth University), “Combo Attack: Applying moral psychology theory and game design principles to create a purpose made game to investigate in game morality”

3:15 – 4:00      Nele van de Mosselaer (University of Antwerp), “On Wanting to Shoot Fictional Zombies: (I-)Desires and Interactive Fiction”

4:00 – 4:30      Tea/Coffee

4:30 – 5:20      Garry Young (Nottingham Trent University), “Okay, so it’s not immoral but it is in poor taste”

Saturday, 22 July


9:30 – 10:20    Christopher Bartel (Appalachian State University), “Political Ideology as a Factors in Video Game Preferences and Playing Habits”

10:30 – 11:15  John Tillson (University of Warwick), “Is it wrong to simulate doing wrong?”

11:15 – 12:00 Helen Ryland (University of Birmingham), “Getting Away with Murder: Why Virtual Murder is Deontologically Wrong”

12:00 – 1:00    Lunch

1:00 – 1:45      Vainius Volungvicius (Vytautas Magnus University), “The importance of a clear ontology of video games for video game ethics”

1:45 – 2:30      Nathan Wildman (University of Glasgow) and Amanda Cawston (University of Tilburg), “A Moral Argument for Video Games”

2:30 – 3:00      Tea/Coffee

3:00 – 3:45      Malcolm Ryan (Macquarie University), “Morality Play: A model for developing games of moral expertise”

3:45 – 4:30      Kevin Schut (Trinity Western University), “Playing with Meaning: Video Games, Interpretation, and Ethics”

4:40 – 5:30      Esther MacCallum-Stewart (Staffordshire University), “‘Why can't I stab Slyboots?!', Model Behaviours in Hidden Object Games”


There is no charge for attending the conference, however, we do ask that you notify us of your attendance. Please email Please use ‘VGVE 2017’ in the subject line.

This conference is being generously supported by the British Society of Aesthetics and the Institute of Philosophy.


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