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Ethical, Professional and Cultural Issues of ICT: The Case of Computer Gaming

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Ethical, Professional and Cultural Issues of ICT:

The Case of Computer Gaming



            With the growth of the information and communications technology, different firms are given opportunities to reach different consumers all over the world, and this includes minors. However, because of the openness of the World Wide Web, there are issues which should be given considerations by these firms.  One of the industries which have been given opportunities by the World Wide Web is the computer gaming or online games.  Computer games and online games are mostly games which highlights violence, exposing individuals, specifically children to some crimes. Hence, most industries in the computer gaming are having problems in solving ethical issues served by different authorities.

            Primarily, the main goal of this report is to provide solutions to the problems faced by a computer gaming industries in having their own ethical standards to adhere to their ethical accountabilities for their clients.   The issue is that the company is having problems with regards to their adherence to ethical social responsibilities since the team of the company is not aware of it. The stakeholders will include the management, the team members and the external stakeholders or the consumers.


            According to Mohr (1996), ethical responsibility is supported by the concepts of multidimensional definitions as well as social marketing (Andreasen, 2001; Sacks, 2000). In the multidimensional definitions context, the focus is on the major responsibilities expected from industries. These major responsibilities include economic, legal, ethical and philanthropic dimensions (Carroll, 1991; Gilbert, 1996). These responsibilities must be performed in order to benefit not only the company operators but also their employees, customers, the community and the general public in the global market (Hoffman et al, 1994). Kotler (1991) notes that the social marketing concept of corporate responsibility stresses those companies should operate in a way that maintains or enhances the well-being of its customers as well as its society (Lozano, 2000The issue highlights the ethical social responsibilities of the computer gaming companies in terms of adhering to the context of the following.

a.    No aggressive violence and spilling of blood

b.    No cheating or manipulating ethical stands of any kind in a quest for victory

c.    No sexist, ageist or racist behaviour of game characters as well as scenarios which may offend women or minority populations.

 Accordingly, the team of the company believes that:

·        without the above the company will not be commercially successful

·        If the above are allowed in films, there is no reason why they should not be allowed in computer games.

Based on this aspect, the issue that should be given emphasis is the issue of enhancing the perspectives of the team member to believe that there is a need to follow ethical conducts and aspects for their computer games. In this regard, ethical theories that can be considered include the utilitarian ethical theory. This theory is founded on the capability to predict and foresee the consequences of the action. Herein, the utilitarian they perceived that the choice that yields the most benefit to the most individuals is the choice that is ethically correct (Ridley, 1998).

Argument Exposition

            As mentioned, utilitarian theory has been considered in this report.  Accordingly, the benefit of this theory is it can compare similar predicted solutions and utilise a point system to identify which choice is more beneficial for more individuals. Such point system gives a logical as well as rational argument for each decision and permits an individual to utilise it on a case-by case concept. The argument:

·        without the above the company will not be commercially successful

·        If the above are allowed in films, there is no reason why they should not be allowed in computer games.

Can be counter-argued by the notion that:

            The adherence of the company to the given ethical social responsibilities above can be helpful in enabling the consumers determine the significance and essence of computer games, specifically in terms of the moral values that it can provide rather than the actions and activities involve in it.  As illustrated, utilitarianism is solely concerned with achieving the maximum good. According to this theory an individual's rights may be infringed upon in order to benefit a greater population. In other words, act utilitarianism approach to this ethical dilemma is always concerned with justice, beneficence or autonomy for an people if oppressing the individual leads to the answers and resolutions which benefits a majority of people.

            In this regard, the management of this computer gaming firm should view ethical social responsibility as a corporate investment that will result in a long-run corporate profit and not a corporate expense. Businesses supporting social responsibility activities claim that it is in the best long-run interest of the business to become intimately involved in and to promote and improve the communities in which it does its business.  Moreover, it can and should improve the corporate and local image of the computer gaming, and it is in the stakeholder’s best interest.

In general, the successful realisation of an organisational objective mainly depends on the extent in which the employees and team of the computer game company recognise and accept this goal. The ethics of the computer gaming firm represent the fundamental values of all the members of the team, which are shared by each other. So the adherence of the computer company to ethical social responsibilities emphasise on it will bring in good guidance which is an significant precondition to improve the social responsibility of computer gaming industry. Because of the unique nature of the industry, there are more chances than in any other virtual firms when ethics becomes an issue at stake (Stevens and Fleckenstein, 1999).


This report has been able to determine the importance of adhering to business ethics and the importance of having a business that adheres to ethical standards.  It can be said that the computer gaming company must be able to follow ethical standards to ensure that what they do will always have a positive impact to the society, environment and other external aspects of business. Because of this report, it can be said that the team can realize the significance of business ethics in having a profitable and socially responsible company. The evidences that have been discussed in this report which proved the importance of business ethics will be useful for my future endeavour as an entrepreneur.  


Carroll, AB 1991. The Pyramid of Corporate Social Responsibility: Toward the Moral Management of Organizational Stakeholders. Business Horizons, vol 34 issue 4,  pp 39-48.

Gilbert, D 1996. Ethics through Corporate Strategy, Prentice Hall, United Kingdom.

Hoffman, M et al, 1994. Emerging Global Business Ethics. Westport, CT.: Quorum Books.

Lozano, J 2000. Ethics and Organizations: understanding business ethics as a learning process. Boston: Kluwer Academic Publishers.

Mohr, LA 1996. Corporate Social Responsibility: Competitive Disadvantage or Advantage? In: R. Hill & C. Taylor (Eds.), Proceedings of the 1996 Marketing and Public Policy Conference, (pp. 48-49), Chicago: American Marketing Association

Ridley, Aaron. 1998. Beginning Bioethics. New York: St. Martin's Press.

Stevens, B and Fleckenstein, A 1999, Comparative ethics: how students and human-resources directors react to real life situations, Cornell Hotel and Restaurant Administration Quarterly, Vol. 40 No. 2, pp. 69-75.




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