Democracy has arrived! A Model for Ethical Decision Making of Players in MMOs

Patrick Prax and Mikael Laaksoharju


In digital games and virtual worlds, like in other digital media, the structure of the medium, its code, influences the emerging interaction and culture. A deliberate modification of this code to facilitate democratic decision making might thus lead to more meaningful interaction in games. If we see virtual worlds as learning environments this might even help players to understand and question real-world power structures. A way to modify the code of a virtual world is by extending its interface with an add-on that interacts with the application programming interface of the game. In this paper we present the design vision and theoretical framework of a digital tool for ethical decision making that will be implemented in the virtual world World of Warcraft. Its purpose will be to supply players with means to modify the power structure built into the code of this virtual world and to support more ethical and democratic decision making in the game.