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Still Waters

Ethics of violence against virtual animals

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Still Waters
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Violence against animals in video games is ubiquitous. Players can kill or torture animals in various popular games, including Minecraft and Grand Theft Auto V. The rise of this (increasingly realistic) trend in games, along with people’s tendency to go along with it, raises important questions.

Violence against humans in video games has long been contentious – underpinned by the never-ending debate over whether on-screen violence begets the real thing. But violence against animals in video games has attracted considerably less attention.

In a recently published paper, we argue there is good reason to think violence against animals in video games is problematic – perhaps even more so than in-game violence against humans. We think game violence against animals is more likely to promote disrespect for their living counterparts.

https://theconversation.com/you-wouldnt-hit-a-dog-so-why-kill-one-in-minecraft-why-violence-against-virtual-animals-is-an-ethical-issue-146845

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The “digital animal intuition:” the ethics of violence against animals in video games

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10676-020-09557-9

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Hankenhunter
7 hours ago, Still Waters said:

I take umbrage at the article. I've been killing zombie cats, dogs, bears, rats, spiders, and other animals for four years, and have yet to even give my pets the stink eye, never mind hurting them. Unless the article is talking about the 30% of humans who have a passion for violence no matter what, and which the games further that passion. In which case, it wouldn't matter as they were already leaning that way. 

 

 

 

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third_eye

It all started a long time ago... 

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[00.00:45]

~

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Scholar4Truth

Sometimes a game is just a game. If people cannot tell between fantasy and reality then there is a problem. I have never had the urge to club baby seals after playing a hunting game.

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thedutchiedutch

I call bull**** ! I have been playing video games since the early 80's and I can tell you I have played some very graphic games involving brutal killings of both humans and all kind of animals and in real life i cannot even kill an ant or a fly without feeling bad and/or guilty. During my life I have always owned a fair amount of different animals from cats to dogs, lizards to frogs and guinea pigs to Chinchillas and Tropical fish to birds and I never, ever hurt anyone single one of them. I just can't and it would make me sad and it makes me want to cry just thinking of hurting any human being or animal. Playing Video games and watching movies cannot influence you by making you do sick things unless you are already sick to begin with I say !.

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Bendy Demon

Battling and destroying monsters is one thing but wontonly killing a virtual creature for 'enjoyment' says a lot about a person. Let's just say they know that if they tortured a real creature they'd be in trouble (and rightly so).

Heck, I even hate giving bad answers in games 'cuz I don't want to hurt the 'feelings' of game characters..

The only critter in games I sniped was in Ratchet and Clank where you shoot some pterodactyls for a skill point or in Zelda: Links Awakening where I kicked around some chickens just so Link would get mob attacked by other chickens. (Imagine losing a life because chickens killed you!)

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XenoFish

I can't help but think that it's just a blame game. 

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joc
4 hours ago, thedutchiedutch said:

I call bull**** ! I have been playing video games since the early 80's and I can tell you I have played some very graphic games involving brutal killings of both humans and all kind of animals and in real life i cannot even kill an ant or a fly without feeling bad and/or guilty. During my life I have always owned a fair amount of different animals from cats to dogs, lizards to frogs and guinea pigs to Chinchillas and Tropical fish to birds and I never, ever hurt anyone single one of them. I just can't and it would make me sad and it makes me want to cry just thinking of hurting any human being or animal. Playing Video games and watching movies cannot influence you by making you do sick things unless you are already sick to begin with I say !.

Thank you for proving my point that...people don't change!  You have always been a good person.  You will always be a good person.  Psychopaths are who they are and they have always been that way. 

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Wepwawet

This "moral panic" has been around for a very long time, millenia. In more modern times we can see the same mind set at work with Savonarola when he tried to turn Florence into a city of "God and purity", fail. We see it in the Prohibition, fail. We see it in the 80s campaigns against "video nasties", fail, and now we see attacks on video games, which will fail.

But, is violence by animals against humans okay?

Here's Boomer from Far Cry 5

 

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joc
1 hour ago, Wepwawet said:

But, is violence by animals against humans okay?

It's a wild world...but even in the wilds of Africa...if an animal kills a  human they will, upon finding it, kill it.  

In the not so wild world of suburbia...wild dog attacks, usually at the teeth of  Pit Bulls, but not necessarily, are still a menace.  So no.  

Violence against any other life form except to protect one's own self is a bad idea.   My philosophy is, if it threatens me...annihilate it.  Wasps, ants, animals, people...doesn't really matter.   I don't like violent video games but I don't want to outlaw them.  

It's like Money doesn't bring happiness.  Happiness is actually an internal thing.  If you have money it can 'enhance' the happiness you already have.   Video games don't create violence...but in the hands of psychopaths...probably an enhancement.

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Golden Duck
On 9/30/2020 at 1:18 AM, Liquid Gardens said:

Yes, and it was 'problematic' that Elvis Presley shook his hips when he performed as it will turn kids into sex-crazed fanatics, and the Beatles were going to usher in the end of civilization with their devil music and drug references.  And today their music is considered light classic rock/oldies and AM radio fare. 

Looks like the 'good reason' for their argument is behind a pay wall so can't examine that, but I'm much more impressed by actual evidence more than 'we think'. Why would this effect just be limited to animal violence?  The Grand Theft Auto series has been around for a couple decades now with millions/billions of virtual vehicles stolen, and despite the teeth-gnashing and pearl-clenching concerning it, it hasn't led to increases or the 'normalization' of vehicle theft:

image.png.10e0e3079f5d35ef0fc27b03048be209.png

 

GTA V just had it's seventh birthday.  GTA Online doesn't even have animals.

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