Journal article

Ludic Ethics: The Ethical Negotiations of Players in Online Multiplayer Games

LA Sparrow, M Gibbs, M Arnold

Games and Culture: a journal of interactive media | SAGE Publications | Published : 2020


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 negot..

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Funding Acknowledgements

The authors disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship and/or publication of this article: The first author's work is supported by the Australian Government Research Training Program Scholarship.