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Designing Virtual Worlds by Richard A. Bartle

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Chapter 8. Coda: Ethical Considerations

KEY TOPICS

  • Censorship

  • Players as People

  • Groups of Players as Groups of People

  • Yourself

I'm writing this short chapter because, believe it or not, the designers of virtual worlds carry a responsibility for the consequences of their designs. Real people play these worlds, and the effects that a design has on them are real. Naturally, players themselves are in many ways accountable for their own actions: If you know that a virtual world has PD and you know that experiencing PD can be distressing, then when you play in that world and suffer PD and find it is distressing you can only blame yourself. Nevertheless, designers ought to be aware when some aspect of their design is likely to become an issue; its inclusion ...

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