Columbine Video Game Advertisement Essay

Submitted By krups427
Words: 1653
Pages: 7

Midterm Exam
3 May 2013
Columbine Video Game Advertisement As we know the Columbine shooting is a very provocative subject to many. The idea of us creating a game based on this tragic event is bound to be controversial at the very least, especially since the students who caused the shooting also played violent video games. When advertising for this game we must be aware of all viewers’ sensitivity to this subject. The ad seemed to be suggestive in ways I did not like, such as the heavy metal music and graphic violence. I would not personally want my children identifying with these characters, which makes me question the ad’s content. I will defend the view that as senior management of the marketing division the company should not run this advertisement because I am afraid it will be offensive to the victim’s families, it provides a distorted image of humanity to young viewers, and is promoting violence that does not positively contribute to our society. First, I will discuss this issue through the view of a virtue-ethicist, consider a counterargument, and then provide a response. Then, I will approach this topic from the view of Audi’s ethical model, weigh out the pros and cons, and illustrate how the consequences of running this ad outweigh the benefits, according to this framework. Lastly, I will provide my own views on this topic, consider possible counterarguments along the way, and dispute them further with additional references from Audi.
According to virtue-ethicists we should focus on being good people (honest, just, kind, and honorable). With this view a just act would be something that a just person would do. “Actions are called just or temperate when they are the sort that a just or temperate person would do,” (Audi 18). Someone might defend the fact that if I chose to run this advertisement it does not necessarily mean that I am not a good person. I am simply doing my job to the best of my ability by maximizing profits. However, a virtue-ethicist asks us to consider how we would want to be portrayed by others “Who wants to be (correctly) seen as cheap, insensitive, or even just indifferent to other’s suffering?” (Audi 18). Even though the people who would be offended by this ad will not make the correlation back to me, they would believe that the ad is insensitive to the victims and their families. I personally do not want to be seen as insensitive or indifferent to other’s suffering. Furthermore, virtue-ethicists call for us to be good role models. I would not want my children identifying with these characters and it would be hypocritical for me to allow the ad to run when I do not fully agree with the content. “To call for conduct of any kind- but especially ethical conduct- when we do not exhibit it ourselves is at best unlikely to succeed and often hypocritical too,” (Audi 19). This is why I would have to deny running this ad when applying the views of a virtue-ethicist. Audi’s ethical framework is based off of using common sense to weigh out the benefits and consequences of every action that we make. He asks us to apply ten moral principles when considering our decision. The principles we should consider that are relevant to making this decision are: Justice, non-injury, beneficence, respectfulness, and liberty. Justice can be defined as (a) negatively, not committing injustice and (b) positively, to prevent future injustices and rectify existing ones (Audi 31). It would be unethical to run an ad that we know is offensive and insensitive. We must also prevent future injustices and knowing that the killers in the Columbine also played violent games brings to my attention that we must be cautious when promoting violence and realize that we could be contributing to future injustices as well. The non-injury principle calls for us to avoid harming others (Audi 31). This ad would cause direct harm to the family members of the victims, which would violate the non-injury principle. Beneficence…