Addressing Online Gaming Toxicity from a Confucian Perspective

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Can Confucian ethics contribute to diagnosing the root causes of video games' toxicity and formulating design requirements for redressing it? Contemporary Confucian studies on technology have not addressed these questions, although video games have become an important part of contemporary human life. This paper advances Confucian-inspired ethical studies on technologies by bringing attention to the moral dimension of this underexamined aspect of contemporary life. By focusing on League of Legends (one of the most popular toxic online multiplayer games), we argue that League's toxic environment hinders the cultivation of ren, shu, and he, but Confucian conceptual resources can inspire the formulation of at least three design recommendations against League's toxicity. The first is to eliminate killing in the game by banking on players' desire to express their skillfulness. The second is to include a rewatching feature to sanction toxic players with the aim of inculcating sympathy in them. The last is to add a procedure before and after each match, where players can cordially interact with each other and develop mutual respect.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)131−152
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Confucian Philosophy and Culture
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Confucianism
  • toxicity
  • ethics of technology
  • League of Legends


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