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Playing with Virtuality

Theories and Methods of Computer Game Studies

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Edited By Benjamin Bigl and Sebastian Stoppe

Computer games have fascinated millions of users for more than 30 years. Today, they constitute the strongest sector in the media-entertainment industry and are part of the experience of digital daily life. Computer Game Studies require a deep understanding of functional and communicational mechanisms of games that support the player’s immersion in virtual worlds. Unfortunately, the discussion and the academic research about usage and effects of computer games mostly takes place isolated within different scientific contexts with various theoretical and methodological approaches. Therefore, this anthology combines the perspectives of Media Studies, Game Studies, and Communication Studies, and presents their findings in an interdisciplinary approach.

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CHAPTER 6: GAMES AS CHALLENGE FOR SOCIETY

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368 368 369 JASPER A. FRIEDRICH Computerspiele und Medienethik. Zur Systematik des Forschungsfeldes „Ich glaube, die Wahrscheinlichkeit, Amok zu laufen ist nach der Lektüre eines Luhmann-Buches (oder des SPON- Forums) 25 mal so hoch wie nach einer Counterstrike- LAN-Party. :)“ (thinktwice auf spiegel-online.de 2006) Abstract This contribution outlines the main topics and issues of media ethical discourse along the unique exploitation chain of computer games and systematizes media ethical assumptions. This outline is intended to serve as a decision support for finding arguments for and against positions of the various stakeholders in the production and distribution of computer games as well as general orientation in scientific discourse. Thus, the article focuses on the one hand the theoretical systematization of eth- ical problems considering computer games as well as a combination of theoret- ical reasoning and practical implementation. The topic will be raised to a gen- eral level – regardless of technical origins. The widely discussed key category of “responsibility” and the subsequent analysis of acts and actors serve as a frame. It is thus intended as a basis and inspiration for comparative empirical studies as well as hermeneutic reflections. Einleitung Vorliegender Beitrag versteht sich als ein Angebot, die Hauptlinien me- dienethischen Diskurses1 entlang der Entstehungs- und Verwertungsket- te von Computerspielen zu skizzieren (Seim, 2010) und nach medien- ethischen Grundannahmen zu systematisieren. Diese Skizze soll in der Folge als Entscheidungshilfe zur Findung von Argumenten für und wider von Positionen der verschiedenen Stakeholder im Verwertungsprozess von Computerspielen dienen wie auch generell als...

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