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Author Topic: Is playing dwarf fortress ethical?  (Read 12684 times)

KittyTac

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Re: Is playing dwarf fortress ethical?
« Reply #30 on: January 04, 2018, 07:47:59 am »

It is not ethical, but not for that reason.

What reason, exactly?
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PlumpHelmetMan

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Re: Is playing dwarf fortress ethical?
« Reply #31 on: January 04, 2018, 07:53:38 am »

Honestly there are FAR worse ethical dilemmas in the world to consider and discuss than whether it's ok to play DF (which again, I honestly don't see why it isn't). If you're at a point where you can have an existential crisis over the bits of data in your computer, maybe that's a sign you need to broaden your scope of life.

Anyway, I've made my two cents clear, so with that I'll leave this discussion alone now. Have fun, guys.
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KittyTac

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Re: Is playing dwarf fortress ethical?
« Reply #32 on: January 04, 2018, 09:02:10 pm »

I guess the "It's OK" side won. Yay!
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Urlance Woolsbane

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Re: Is playing dwarf fortress ethical?
« Reply #33 on: January 04, 2018, 09:35:01 pm »

Complex as Dwarf Fortress undeniably is, it's far simpler than a lot of players seem to think. One of the most common mistakes is the belief that world-gen is every bit as complex as the game in-play. It's very much not. What the player does not observe is by necessity severely abstracted, else the game could not run.

Dwarves do have detailed personalities, it's true, but only by the standards of video game creatures. They are essentially a bunch of switches, dependent on the context of the wider game. A sapient being can comprehend the world around itself, but the world of Dwarf Fortress must comprehend its beings. In other words, there is not even the slightest hint of ethical ambiguity here. You no more murder your dwarves with magma than you do a toy soldier with a cigarette lighter. By comparison, the choice to train a magnifying glass upon an ant is pregnant with moral quandaries.
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CrocAndBearLover

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Re: Is playing dwarf fortress ethical?
« Reply #34 on: January 05, 2018, 06:42:21 am »

The amount of navel-gazing in this thread melted my notebook's processor.

*ahem*

Is playing *game_where_you_murder_humans* ethical? As long as you don't take the game too seriously and do the same thing IRL, it's totally morally okay. Hell, you can  even play Catholic Nun Rape Simulator 2018 as long as you don't do the same thing IRL, though people will definitely question what kind of sick fuck are you, should you mention you like stuff like that.

Simple philosophical questions = simple philosophical answers.
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King Kitteh

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Re: Is playing dwarf fortress ethical?
« Reply #35 on: January 05, 2018, 07:12:47 am »

We see the creatures in this game as less complex and sentient than ourselves and so say that mistreating them is not unethical.

It would be interesting if in the Myth update we see how the deities feel about these ideals.
Whether they consider killing simple sapiens to be unethical. They might argue about it.
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SmileyMan

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Re: Is playing dwarf fortress ethical?
« Reply #36 on: January 05, 2018, 08:34:00 am »

You could view your dwarves as domesticated livestock. Modern cows/sheep/chickens/etc. would die out pretty quickly in the absense of human farmers. They are in essence an artificial lifeform that exists to provide a service to humanity, at the whim of humanity.

Therefore vegans can't ethically abandon a fortress.
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KittyTac

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Re: Is playing dwarf fortress ethical?
« Reply #37 on: January 05, 2018, 08:35:09 am »

We see the creatures in this game as less complex and sentient than ourselves and so say that mistreating them is not unethical.

It would be interesting if in the Myth update we see how the deities feel about these ideals.
Whether they consider killing simple sapiens to be unethical. They might argue about it.

The problem here is that they're not alive.
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dragdeler

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Re: Is playing dwarf fortress ethical?
« Reply #38 on: January 05, 2018, 12:19:35 pm »

Honestly this discussion is absurd. Why are we even still debating this?

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TLDR We like to chat.

edit: note how I didn't answer OP and still am perfectly in tune, philosophy must be truly useless and probably just a byproduct of alcohol  ;D :P
« Last Edit: January 05, 2018, 12:22:50 pm by dragdeler »
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FantasticDorf

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Re: Is playing dwarf fortress ethical?
« Reply #39 on: January 05, 2018, 12:37:46 pm »

If you think of save files and .xmls etc as alternate dimensions bound by the same principle rules (and those created extraneously) every-time you play they are their own little existence and there are both events abstract in and after the natural course of time which we would refer to as world generation, where did the world and all the things that exist come to be as central unanswered questions. For a matter of fact when you stop playing time is quite literally frozen for the world inside until by action of the player you resume.

Somewhere on people's hard-drives in the untraceable post-deleted 'ghosts' of files (even if you tried scrubbing your hardware with a magnet) there are entire generated worlds completely paused in the motion of their programmed 'lives' or in the middle of dying horribly in the face of !Fun! for they have ceased to be and remain, we ourselves would not know the moment of our own demise as the concept of time is also a construct of our brains to make chronological order of past, present and future.

If the universe is vanilla, what is DFhack? Divine intervention? In my mind its as ethical as killing lobsters with boiling water, a personal preference on your attitudes on killing animals or increasingly elaborate synthetic intelligence instantly being more humane as a comparison to killing them in a way that infers suffering, as we actually get closer to self aware and self-protection conscious machines (like skynet at worst case) it will be more of issue on digital intelligence rights i think.
« Last Edit: January 05, 2018, 12:40:41 pm by FantasticDorf »
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exdeath

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Re: Is playing dwarf fortress ethical?
« Reply #40 on: January 05, 2018, 12:44:19 pm »

Its not ethical, now lets go back to playing linear triple A games made by EA.
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KittyTac

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Re: Is playing dwarf fortress ethical?
« Reply #41 on: January 05, 2018, 08:40:42 pm »

If you think of save files and .xmls etc as alternate dimensions bound by the same principle rules (and those created extraneously) every-time you play they are their own little existence and there are both events abstract in and after the natural course of time which we would refer to as world generation, where did the world and all the things that exist come to be as central unanswered questions. For a matter of fact when you stop playing time is quite literally frozen for the world inside until by action of the player you resume.

Somewhere on people's hard-drives in the untraceable post-deleted 'ghosts' of files (even if you tried scrubbing your hardware with a magnet) there are entire generated worlds completely paused in the motion of their programmed 'lives' or in the middle of dying horribly in the face of !Fun! for they have ceased to be and remain, we ourselves would not know the moment of our own demise as the concept of time is also a construct of our brains to make chronological order of past, present and future.

If the universe is vanilla, what is DFhack? Divine intervention? In my mind its as ethical as killing lobsters with boiling water, a personal preference on your attitudes on killing animals or increasingly elaborate synthetic intelligence instantly being more humane as a comparison to killing them in a way that infers suffering, as we actually get closer to self aware and self-protection conscious machines (like skynet at worst case) it will be more of issue on digital intelligence rights i think.

DF? Elaborate? They're less intelligent than bacteria. And you kill trillions of bacteria every day.
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Kat

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Re: Is playing dwarf fortress ethical?
« Reply #42 on: January 05, 2018, 08:54:31 pm »

There was a Philip K. Dick short story, "The Trouble with Bubbles", covering the ideas of simulated worlds and their creation, and the issues surrounding such.

Wikipedia sums it up as:
"The story is set in a future where mankind has attempted to reach other intelligent lifeforms through space exploration, and found nothing. In light of this yearning to connect with other lifeforms, people can buy a plastic bubble known as a Worldcraft, the tagline of which reads "Own Your Own World!". The owner of the Worldcraft is able to create a whole universe, controlling all the variables inherent to its development. Within the universe, lifeforms just like humans exist.

In the story we see Nathan Hull, the protagonist, attending a contest to judge who has created the best Worldcraft universe. A contestant subsequently smashes and destroys her bubble after being announced the winner. Hull, feeling the immorality of the control owners have over the lives within the bubbles, works to have laws passed against creating any more Worldcrafts. At the end of the story, Hull is about to drive through a newly built underground tunnel to Asia when an unexpected earthquake breaks it up, killing scores of people."
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KittyTac

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Re: Is playing dwarf fortress ethical?
« Reply #43 on: January 05, 2018, 09:06:54 pm »

Why would I care?
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bloop_bleep

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Re: Is playing dwarf fortress ethical?
« Reply #44 on: January 05, 2018, 11:46:13 pm »

Again, none of this matters since dwarves in DF are not remotely sentient at all. A human in real life is several billion orders of magnitude more complex than any of them. Dwarves' entire emotional state is represented by one value, so the argument that they are somehow mentally equivalent to us makes no sense whatsoever.
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