5-3 | Vice City Virtue: Moral Issues in Digital Game Play

Book Review

Vice City Virtue: Moral Issues in Digital Game Play

Karolien Poels and Steven Malliet, eds.
Belgium: Acco, 2011. Tables, notes, references. 351 pp. $54.96 paper. ISBN: 9789033484681

by Jeremy K. Saucier

First Paragraph:

In June 2011, the United States Supreme Court struck down a 2005 California law banning the sale of some violent video games to minors on the grounds that there is no tradition of restricting children’s access to depictions of violence in the U.S.A. That case is just one example from an ongoing debate about what scholars Karolien Poels and Steven Malliet, in their Vice City Virtue, call “moral issues in digital game play” (p. 21). Over the last three decades, scholars have investigated and debated the risks associated with, and the effects of playing, digital games. With this anthology, editors Poels and Malliet enter into the debate with hopes of moving it beyond a narrow focus on violent game effects, while providing the kind of nuanced view of morality that enables scholars to better inform the public and policymakers.