Virtual reality (VR) technology, also known as aurora technology, is a new and comprehensive information technology that emerged only at the end of the twentieth century. It incorporates digital image processing, computer graphics, multimedia technology, sensor technology and many other branches of information technology, thus significantly advancing the development of gaming entertainment. Virtual reality makes the gaming experience more immersive and a leap forward from the traditional way of interacting with games and brings innovation to the senses. However, the interesting thing is that an overly realistic picture will lead to a poorer experience. There is a lot of concern that authentic games can lead to people losing their ability to distinguish between reality and doing regrettable things.
In Gamers’ view, VR technology can bring a much higher quality of visuals and improve the satisfaction and happiness people get from the games, which aligns with utilitarianism’s definitionbecause the amount of happiness increases. Compared to traditional video content, it has a 360-degree panoramic picture. The protagonist, the user, can be in the scene and feel the atmosphere and ambience through the sound; the full impact, the sense of space and distance will be more layered. Moreover, VR fitness games can be used to bring a new dimension to an already dull exercise routine. For example, people can feel the immersion of riding around the world indoors with exercise bikes and VR equipment. These experiences will undoubtedly increase the happiness of the people forced to stay indoors during the epidemic, utilitarianism states.
Virtual Reality is certainly an attractive gaming technology. Compared to regular games, it has a higher appeal and retention among gaming players, as it greatly enhances user engagement through immersive experiences. Because of the increase in the player base, more people who enjoy the game will come together and share their novel experiences on the internet, so the game developers will receive more encouragement and appreciation from them. Developers will be happier and incentive to make better games, and this will create a virtuous circle. By applying Care ethics, VR is undoubtedly an area worth developing for a gaming company, as it improves the relationship between the gamers and developers.
Compared to video calling, the most interactive form of online social interaction, VR is as good as it is in terms of real-time feedback, but on top of that, it has a much more interesting and free interaction. VR allows a group of people who are not in the same place to communicate with each other by putting them in the same virtual world. Not only that, but it can also help people who are not good at socialising, in reality, to express their feelings and meet people in order to form good relationships, which is very much in line with Care ethics.
Virtual reality games also can be used to satisfy people’s thirst for excitement (e.g. explosions, wars, Firearms shootings, etc.). The categorical imperative (universal law) is what people want the games to be like, which give them the most fun. The biggest benefit of VR is that it can simulate this in the virtual world without damaging the reality world. It is also very much in line withKant’s Theory, as the laws restrict what they find exciting, and they are able to enjoy these things while complying with the law.
Despite the advantages of VR in terms of engineering ethics concluded above, it does have a myriad of potential drawbacks and will lead to significant problems for customers.
1: Potential physiological problems and after effects.
VR games can cause bad gaming experiences and even long-lasting psychological trauma for the users, such as suffering immersive torture and dying in the game. This awful experience runs counter to utilitarian happiness.
The long-term experience of killing in the violent game of VFR thrill the player gets can be a potential danger, especially for those who have difficulty distinguishing between virtual and real, such as teenagers. These violent elements potentially and subliminally influence the users to be more forceful and ultimately lead to irreversible results indicating that people develop bad moral characteristics contrary to virtue ethics. Furthermore, The duty ethics of Kantian’s theory suggested that the majority of people do not want the games causing players to commit acts of violence to others, especially to themselves, as it is likely to cause severe psychological trauma to others. If we know the games make people violent, then Duty Ethics opposes it because taking actions to prevent violence is universally acceptable.
VR manipulates users’ perception of the body, such as white people becoming black and adults becoming children randomly. The physical changes are often unacceptable to some people, e.g.a white male who is racist may become more racist when he becomes black in the virtual world and may engage in more racist behaviour in real life. Furthermore, some adults with mental illness will have a good relationship with children in the virtual world, potentially leading to grooming. In terms of Kantian theory, this person who doesn’t have goodwill will develop more racism and grooming, contrary to virtue ethics, because the nature of these players is bad. Furthermore, a worse relationship developed by racism in VR objects to care ethics. On the other hand, Professor Thomas Metzinger argued that in a completely immersive atmosphere, human beings are likely to assume themselves as gaming avatars and are more susceptible to the psychological impacts of prolonged VR experience, which might lead to depersonalization.
2: Personal privacy and data protection.
As virtual technology becomes more sophisticated, more personal information will be collected, such as eye movement states, motor responses, etc., which make up a person’s ‘kinematic fingerprint‘. This collection of personal information, which is exceptionally potentially revealing, is contrary to the original intention of most people to play VR games. And the developers run counter to the Kantian theory of good intentions – it is not good intentions to want everyone to carry out an absolute command that they do not want to do.
The group is against the promotion of Virtual Reality in the entertainment industry.