Kantian Journal

2023 Vol. 42. №2

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Tool-Kit for Ethical Analysis of Video Games: Answer to the Challenges of the New Enlightenment



The authors of the idea of a “new Enlightenment”, Ernst von Weizsäcker and Anders Wijkman, in their 2018 report to the Club of Rome analyse the causes of the explosive development of science and technology in the Modern period and come to the conclusion that their triumph and existential threats stem in many ways from the ideals of Enlightenment, so that the future of humankind depends crucially on an ideological rethinking of man’s status in the world. They stress the need to enhance the responsibility of the individual so that each individual becomes conscious of sharing the destiny of the whole of mankind and the world. I argue that in the framework of Enlightenment 2.0 the Kantian concept of social development, which is closely linked with the moral ideal — the kingdom of ends — may form the basis of the concept of society in which individual freedom and social development are interconnected and the mutually determining elements of the human being in whom freedom can be exercised only if it contributes to social good. The Kantian interpretation of social development as the human being forming the sphere of free being can be the basis of a critical assessment of the content of video games in terms of their media impact on the shaping of the ideology of modern society. I show that the boundaries of the exercise of freedom in a video game, supported by artificial intelligence, influence the way an individual perceives society and his/her place in it. I come to the conclusion that video games, which express a certain idea about society, can contribute to or impede the formation of a new ideological foundation of society whose aim, according to Enlightenment 2.0, should be overcoming the antagonism between the individual and the collective.


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