Impact of video games on philosophy
The most eminent philosophical idea that I think gets turned on its head by the influence of the popularity of video games is Robert Nozick’s 1974 idea of Experience Machine [(PDF) Nozick’s Experience Machine Is Dead.]
The fundamental thought experiment was designed to show the people that “virtual reality” is inferior to “actual reality” and that pleasure is not the end if it is not real.
However, I put the notion of anti-hedonism as “If all you want is to be delighted, snort some dopamine into your brain”.
Nozick put it “If all you want to be happy, go to virtual reality and get this joy from the machine” – the idea to criticize hedonism via imagining virtual reality probably works in 1974 with the entertainment level they have back then.
But most people of the video games generation would see the same thought experiments and though the complete opposite. Virtual Reality is becoming better than actual reality.
What Does Nozick’s Argument Show?
Presumably, Nozick’s argument is as follows:
1. If all of our concern to us was a pleasure, then we would expect to plug into the experience machine.
2. However, we would not want a plug-in.
3. Thus, there are many facts that matter to us along with pleasure.
The puzzle with Bentham’s view is that it does not make sense of our considered moral beliefs. A good ideal theory of value should make sense of the views we hold, yet Bentham’s views don’t seem to match that.
We can perceive this in the following way; assume and imagine the following two possible worlds:
In world A, you are in love with a person X, and X loves you back. You have a variety of experiences with X, and these experiences make you extremely pleased.
In world B, you are in love with X, but X only pretends to love you back.
In this reality, X has a deep-seated hatred for you. You are only tolerated by X because you purchase X’s products. You are completely oblivious to the fact that X is continually being unfaithful to you. In point of fact, the experiences that you have in this world are precisely the same as the ones that you have in world A. Hedonism maintains that there is no valid reason for you to choose world A over world B due to the fact that the level of pleasure attained will be determined by chance. However, it is abundantly evident that world A is superior to world B. If hedonism is not true, then this makes perfect sense. Hedonism, on the other hand, is nonsensical when compared to our well-formed moral judgments.