Sunday, June 28, 2009

My Paper

This will be the link that will hold my paper... and it will be updated whenever I make significant progress on it! I am planning on it being the same link for every draft that is due for U.Discover so I will place it in some box on the right for future reference.

B. F. Pons


I thought at the very least I should update with something today. Therefore, I present my current Outline/Table of Contents.

I. Introduction
II. Finding Ethics in Video Games
IIa. The Magic Circle
IIb. The Informal and Formal Rules of a Game
III. Cheating and Transcending the Magic Circle
IIIa. Types of Players
IIIb. Types of Cheating
IIIc. Ethically Problematic Cheating
IV. The Ethics of Cheating in Video Games
IVa. Moral Precedent and Virtue of the Player
IVb. Gaming Ethics Applied to Video Games
IVc. Balancing the Magic Circle, Cheating, and Fair Competition
V. Conclusion

Do not fret! I am planning on uploading the first part of my paper later tonight...hopefully.

B. F. Pons

Friday, June 26, 2009

Life and a New Direction

Hello everybody,

I was planning on posting something more substantive than this earlier than today, but recent events in my life have made it this way. On Monday, June 22nd, my Grandmother passed away after 6 long years of battling cancer. Thankfully, I was able to spend time with her last week during her final days. Because of her passing, I essentially had to drop everything and attend to the duties a grandson has. I just wanted to briefly remind all those reading my blog to be aware of the fragility of life and to cherish it everyday. Even though everyone in the program enjoys research in some manner, research is not the only thing in life. Life is more than data, articles, hypothesizes, and conclusions. Life is also about love, friendship, and living the best life you can.

On to the real meaning of this blog, the ethics of cheating in video games. While I was busy the last two weeks and even busier the last five days, I have had time to only think of my project. Therefore, I currently do not have anything tangible to present. I would, however, like to try something using this interesting tool known as a blog. I know exactly how hard it is to come up with something to comment on about other person's blog when you have not been actively researching that topic. Hence, I propose the following question for the other U.Discover scholars or any other random person reading this blog to comment on.

"Should I switch the main focus of my U.Discover presentation, 2,000-2,500 word paper, and poster to just the ethical dimension of video games, what is cheating and how can it be ethical in video games, or both?"

It's not a question of cutting down on research, I still plan on writing about everything. I just feel the amount of information out there would be much greater than 8 to 9 pages. Instead of cutting out interesting findings on both the premise of my paper and the following question arising from that premise, I would just enhance my focus on a certain area for presentation. I will also give further definition of what this means for my project.

The main premise that I felt always needed establishment is that video games have an ethical nature to them. Most wonder how this is possible when actions in a video game take place in a virtual world, with no consequence to us. Everyone I have talked to about my research as commented on this half of my proposal. The most interesting question I have heard is whether "video games have another set of morals in them?" Cheating, instead of being the focus of analysis, becomes the conclusion. Cheating would then be a transgressive activity that not only affects the virtual world, but it also reflects on the player of the video game. And, in at least this context, video games have some moral dimension to them.

Now I realize that I will probably to everything the same as I was planning, but from my most recent discussions, I am very interested on what you, the public, have to say about my inquiry.

When you comment, I would like your answer and why you think I should switch or stay the same. Also, if there is something you don't understand about either this possible change or my topic, you are always free to ask me questions!

Hopefully, the ease of commenting on a blog will help me answer my problem, and at the same time, giving the other members of U.Discover something on which to comment.


Monday, June 22, 2009

The Hardest 250 Words Ever

With the evolution of technology, video games have become an increasingly popular medium for play and self-expression. Though increasing with popularity, only a few academics have strived for connecting video games to greater psychological and philosophical concepts, such as education, aesthetics, and ethics. The main trouble facing video game studies resides in the populous’ incorrect belief that a virtual world cannot affect our “real” world, whether physically or morally. This paper will argue for the general position that video games do have a moral context by evaluating the ethical consequences of cheating. To establish an ethical framework within the virtual world, the paper will first define and elaborate on the theory of the magic circle as well as the formal and informal rules present while playing a video game. Cheating, along with other actions that could be considered cheating, will be evaluated in respect to how it affects the now established ethical framework in video games. After narrowing the down to the type of cheating which poses ethical concerns, the second area of analysis will grapple with the traditional ethical judgment of cheating being immoral with gaming ethics, a belief that victory should be the ultimate goal regardless of the means used. In the end, this paper will conclude with the belief that while cheating, in general, sets a bad moral precedence for an individual's integrity or virtue, cheating done to another person is the only form of cheating with an ethical impact. Moreover, cheating which can lay within the formal rules of the game and still provide a sense of fair competition with other people can be ethically acceptable. (270)

Friday, June 19, 2009

Research Update: Bibliography

Hey everybody,

I'm still here in Iowa and it was a rougher day at the hospital than most. Because of this, I was able to only get half of what I wanted to get done today. I have consolidated my resources and have produced a Bibliography of the articles and books that will most likely be included into my paper and research poster. I will post this now and hopefully will have time to work on an outline, which will help be organize a thorough abstract.


Bergstein, Brian and Matt Slagle. "As Currency of Online Games Gets Real, Cheating Can Turn into Fraud." (October 2, 2007), .

Buchanan, Elizabeth A. and Charles Ess. "Introduction: The Ethics of E-Games." International Review of Informational Ethics Vol. 4. (2005): 2-6.

Consalvo, Mia. "Cheating Can Be Good For You: Educational Games and Multiple Play Styles." On the Horizon 13, no. 2 (2005): 95-100.

---. "Rule Sets, Cheating, and Magic Circle: Studying Games and Ethics." International Review of Informational Ethics Vol. 4. (2005): 7-12.

---. Cheating: Gaining Advantage in Videogames. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2007.

Huizinga, Johan. Homo Ludens: A Study of the Play Element in Culture. Boston, MA: Beacon Press, 1950.

Kimppa, K. K. and A. K. Bissett. "The Ethical Significance of Cheating in Online Computer Games." International Review of Informational Ethics Vol. 4. (2005): 31-38.

Langlois, Brian. "Gamer Ethics: What's Cheating and What's Fair Game?” March 19, 2008. (accessed May 29, 2009) .

McKay,Quinn. The Bottom Line on Integrity: 12 Principles for Higher Returns. Layton, UT: Gibbs Smith, 2004.

Reynolds, Ren. "Playing a 'Good' Game: A Philosophical Approach to Understanding the Morality of GamesInternation Game Development Association (2002), (accessed May 25, 2009).

Salen, Katie and Eric Zimmerman. Rules of Play: Game Design Fundamentals. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2004.

Sicart, Miguel. "Game, Player, Ethics: A Virtue Ethics Approach to Computer Games." International Review of Informational Ethics Vol. 4. (2005): 13-18.

Taylor, Laurie N. “Gaming Ethics, Rules, Etiquette, and Learning.” In Handbook of Research on Effective Electronic Gaming in Education, by Richard E. Ferdig, 1057–65. Idea Group Inc, 2008.

Walz, James T., Orlando V. Griego, and George S. Babbes. "Does Gaming Lead to Cheating? A Model of Gaming to Cheating." Journal of College and Character Vol. 8, no. 2 (2007): 1-13. (accessed May 25, 2009).

Warner, Dorothy E. and Mike Raiter. "Social Context in Massively-Multiplayer Online Games (MMOGs): Ethical Questions in Shared Space." International Review of Informational Ethics Vol. 4. (2005): 46-52.

Wolf, Mark J. P.“Morals, Ethics, and Video Games.” The Video Game Explosion: A History from PONG to Playstation, and Beyond, 283–91. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2008.

Woods, Stewart. (2007). “Playing With An Other: Ethics in the Magic Circle.” Cybertext Database. (accessed May 23, 2009) .

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Research Update

Hello all,

Even though I am in Iowa visiting my grandma in the hospital, I have had opportunties to get work done. Just wanted to let you know that all the preliminary reading I had is almost done. Time depending, I will upload a Bibliography of the research I have read. If lucky, I will supply a preliminary outline of the paper I am going to write. Following that, I will work on the abstract due for U.Discover.

B. F. Pons

Sunday, June 14, 2009

I'm Back

Hello all,

I'm back from Europe (Currently luggageless)! I got a little work done but couldn't update due to little free wifi hotspots and my only tool holding the internet being an iTouch (not the best for significant work). I am dead tired so I will update tomorrow if I can. I will be officially be moving to Vermillion tomorrow so we will see if I will be able to update at all.

Until later,

B. F. Pons

Monday, June 1, 2009


Hello all,

I am going to start my journey to Germany in about 13 minutes! I just wanted to let you guys know I will continue working on my project out of the country and will do my best to post as regularly as possible.

B. F. Pons