What behavioural effects do videogames have upon their players? For these ten instalments of A Hundred Cyborgs, the focus was on the moral dimensions of contemporary videogames. This Gamer Cyborgs mini-serial followed on from the examination of early coin-op videogames in the Arcade Cyborgs mini-serial). Here are the ten posts from 71 to 80:
This part of the serial comes in pairs - the first two look at how we pay for games, defending the Free to Play model and pointing a finger (unsurprisingly) at Loot Boxes (#71-72). VR and Motion Controls (#73-74) go together since, as is not often recognised, the Wii Remote was the first step into third generation VR. (As someone with little interest in VR, it was interesting to defend it for once!) Game Wikis and Let's Play Videos (#75-76) consider how the ways we help people to play videogames have changed, and mostly for the better, then Online Play and Remote Play (#77=78) offer contrasting views of the moral effects of the internet on games.
Finally, Cinematics and Achievements take a more critical stance in the way games have gone in the decades since the heyday of the arcades. Of the set, #79 Cinematics is probably my favourite... it can hardly be taken for granted that there is a moral dimension to the use of movie-style cut scenes in videogames, but when it comes to cybervirtue and cyberdebility, we have to take into account the entire network around each cyborg - and videogames with cinematics have significant and unnoticed moral effects on the videogames industry as a whole.
I am always interested in discussion, so feel free to raise comments either here (ideal for longer debates) or on Twitter (perfect for quick exchanges). And if you’ve enjoyed any of these pieces, please buy a copy of the paperback or new ebook edition of The Virtuous Cyborg and support my research into cybervirtue!
Next week, the final block of ten continues!