A VR Ethics Case Study
Image: "jerusalem cityscape" by jasonwain, cropped, is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0
SuperFly is an exciting new VR application that aims to change the way you vacation. Everyone knows that vacations, while definitely worth doing, are often accompanied by hassle, expense, and risk. Nobody wants their $20,000 vacation ruined by late flights, inattentive staff, or bad weather. SuperFly aims to give you the best of the vacation experience without the bad stuff, and all for a fraction of the cost of a traditional vacation. Even better, in an age where we’re all being more careful about our carbon footprint, SuperFly is the greener choice when it comes to travel.
To use the SuperFly service you must first sign up for one of our vacation packages (domestic, international, or exotic). After signing up, you will meet with a smartraVeleR consultant, bound by confidentiality, whose job it is to help you build the perfect VR vacation experience—and believe us when we say that you get to choose your experience. Want good weather, friendly locals (customizable to your preferences), and lots of peace and quiet? Choose from hundreds of destinations! Would you prefer more adventure? What about the thrill of haggling in a busy market and scoring a deal? Maybe you’d prefer to attend an exclusive VIP dance party inside the Great Pyramid with your favorite celebrities? For an additional fee we can further customize your travel experience in any way you desire. Historical, fantasy, and space travel packages are available.
Sit back in the comfort of your own home while having the journey of a lifetime with SuperFly!
Before answering these questions, please review the Markkula Center’s Framework for Ethical Decision Making.
- Who are the stakeholders involved in this case?
- What ethical issues do you identify in this scenario? Note that some of these may be beneficial, while others are harmful/problematic. Which stakeholders might benefit from a new age of VR “travel”? Which stakeholders might be harmed?
- Which ethical aspects are highlighted when you view the case through the ethical lenses of rights, justice, utilitarianism, virtue, care ethics, and the common good (discussed in the Framework for Ethical Decision Making)?