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The Bioethics of Digital Dystopias

The Bioethics of Digital Dystopias
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Author(s): Marcus Schulzke (State University of New York at Albany, Albany, New York, USA)
Copyright: 2013
Volume: 4
Issue: 2
Pages: 12
Source title: International Journal of Technoethics (IJT)
Editor(s)-in-Chief: Rocci Luppicini (University of Ottawa, Canada)
DOI: 10.4018/jte.2013070104


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This essay explores how two popular game franchises, BioShock and Portal, have addressed bioethical issues such as genetic modification, research ethics, and autonomy. BioShock and Portal are set in bioethical dystopias that simulate the absence of ethical restraint. The former is set in a city that that allows unregulated genetic modification, and the latter in a research facility controlled by overseers whose only concern is scientific progress. These simulations allow players to gain insight into bioethical issues and contribute to theoretical debates in bioethics by showing the possible consequences of violating bioethical values.

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