Ethics & Values


What are ethics & values and why do they affect video game designers? The following links will help you to explore different definitions of ethics & values.

From the Ethics Resource Center, a definition


  1. The decisions, choices, and actions (behaviors) we make that reflect and enact our values.
  2. The study of what we understand to be good and right behavior and how people make those judgments. (From "What is the Difference Between Ethics, Morals and Values?", Frank Navran)
  3. A set of standards of conduct that guide decisions and actions based on duties derived from core values. (From "The Ethics of Non-profit Management," Stephen D. Potts)
  4. There are many definitions as to what ethics encompasses:
  5. * The discipline dealing with what is good and bad and with moral duty and obligation;
  6. * Decisions, choices, and actions we make that reflect and enact our values;
  7. * A set of moral principles or values;
  8. * A theory or system of moral values; and/or
  9. * A guiding philosophy.
  10. (From "Creating a Workable Company Code of Conduct," 2003, Ethics Resource Center)


Digital Citizenship, copyright, and attribution

What does it mean to live in a digital society? What are your rights? What are your responsibilities? We will explore all of this and more in this lesson.

Related Readings

Orson Scott Card's "Ender's Game" (Lexile 780, 4th-5th grade) is a great sci-fi read, but in reading it, focus on the use of video games and deception as training tools. The story takes on a whole new meaning in regards to ethics and values as they apply to video games, their development and application.

Drones: When Video Games Collide With Reality

When the line between virtual and real is crossed, what happens? Who is hurt? Is it legal? is it ethical? What is the difference?

Little Brother

Cory Doctorow's "Little Brother" (Lexile 900L, 5th-6th grade) is an exploration of freedom versus societal expectation which explores the relationship between ethics, morals, values and personal choice.

MMORPGs, online relationships and safety

In an age where we find ourselves living in a virtual world as much as a real one, what are the risks, the benefits, the dangers and the advantages of living life as an avatar? What can you do to protect yourself, your identity and your image when the first thing employers do is Google YOU!

For The WinIn "For The Win" (Lexile unknown, 7th grade+), Cory Doctorow's makes us think about video games not as playthings but as breeding grounds for revolution, freedom and control. Great discussion points for economics, civil rights, values and choice.