The University of Sussex

The virtual sky is not the limit: ethics in virtual reality

Blay Whitby

Virtual reality (VR) is sometimes seen as a completely new technology which generates many new and difficult moral problems. On closer examination, the moral issues raised by VR can be seen as extensions of more familiar moral issues. VR as a technology is better seen as a development of a collection of existing technologies than as a radically new departure. Similarly, the moral implications are more like extensions of pre-existing moral problems than completely new problems. In addition, an ethical approach to VR reveals it to be a technology which generates interesting moral opportunities as well as problems.


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