Objections to Ostritsch’s argument in “The amoralist challenge to gaming and the gamer’s moral obligation”

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This paper raises three objections to the argument presented by Ostritsch in The amoralist challenge to gaming and the gamer’s moral obligation, in which the amoralist’s mantra “it’s just a game” is viewed as an illegitimate rebuttal of all moral objections to (typically violent) video games. The first objection focuses on Ostritsch’s ‘strong sense’ of player enjoyment, which I argue is too crude, given the moral work it is meant to be doing. Next, I question the legitimacy of Ostritsch’s claim that certain video games are immoral. I examine what is involved in making this claim and what would be required for a normative position to be established: none of which is addressed by Ostritsch. Finally, I challenge the legitimacy of his claim that players are obliged not to play certain video games in certain ways (i.e., games endorsing immorality as ‘fun games’). I distinguish between immoral and suberogatory actions, arguing that the latter is in fact more applicable to cases Ostritsch has in mind, and that one is not obliged not to engage in these actions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)209-219
Number of pages11
JournalEthics and Information Technology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 30 Aug 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Ecumenical expressivism
  • Gamer enjoyment
  • Objectified social norm
  • Player motivation
  • Suberogatory action

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