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Ethical Intention in Development

The other week we gave a talk at James Madison University as part of their CS Speaker Series at the invitation of our friend Prof. Michael Stewart.

We presented on "Ethical Intention in Development," and we now have a video that combines our slides with recorded audio from the talk. It's a bit quiet, but check it out! Our abstract and thoughts are below.


Software developers and artistic creators rarely believe they are unethical but we still observe countless examples of algorithms resulting in toxic systems or works that fail to address difficult topics with the appropriate delicacy. In fact, to be an ethical creator you must develop with conscious intention. Using the lens of video game development, we will discuss how projects can go wrong without ethical intention, describe our approach to crafting and practicing intention, and provide examples of works which were improved by their creators' deliberate ethical intention. Attendees will leave equipped to think about and implement their own values in order to ensure people are better-off from interacting with their work.

Our Thoughts

The talk went really well! We got some vehement, insightful responses to our topic, everything from an attendee sharing their belief that violence and sex has no place in video games all the way to criticism of the idea that sabotage is an appropriate response to an intractable immoral system. We also enjoyed touring the campus and meeting Prof. Stewart's Interaction Design class as well as the PlayMU gaming club.

If you'd like to see or download the slides, you can check them out on SpeakerDeck.

Future Proof Games is a tiny independent game studio dedicated to responsible transhumanism and audacious compassion. Our remastered version of "(I Fell in Love With) The Majesty of Colors" will be released on February 28, 2018 on iOS and Android as well as Windows, OSX, and Linux on Steam and For more information, see the website or our presskit.

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