Moral responsibility is never a spectator sport: On young people and online gaming | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 6, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 2040-2457
  • E-ISSN: 2040-2465



Background: Massively Multiplayer Online Games create concerns for the health and well-being of young adults. The purpose of the article is to give a deeper insight into online game players’ ethical thinking and how playing online games affects their daily lives and relationships with others in the real world. Method: Data are collected from ten qualitative research interviews in Norway. The article contributes with two philosophical interpretations of the young people’s stories: the fundamental ethics of Emmanuel Levinas and Pragmatic Aesthetics. Findings: Online gaming can be a momentary aesthetic escape from reality, but players can become morally constrained when their behaviour affects those close to them. Constant conflict due to excessive gaming can cause them to retreat further into the game as an escape from real-world pressures. Conclusion: Moral responsibility is not only the young person’s concern. The diversity of moral concerns needs to be acknowledged.


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