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The Institute is a world leader in macroeconomic modelling and forecasting. It has produced quarterly economic forecasts for around sixty years, supported by macroeconomic models. The aim of the original builders of macroeconomic models was to transform understanding of how economies worked and use that knowledge to improve economic policy. In the early years, when computers were rare, macroeconomic modelling was a new frontier and Institute economists were among the first to produce a working model of the UK economy. It is remarkable how quickly models were being used to produce forecasts, assess policy and influence the international macroeconomic research agenda. The models built at the Institute were mainstream in the sense that they followed the contents of standard macroeconomic textbooks, developed with the subject, and fitted the facts as they were known at the time. There were continual improvements in understanding as the subject developed in response to new ideas and developments in the global economy. This article celebrates the development of macroeconomic modelling at the Institute and the contribution it has made to public life.
This paper introduces a special issue of the Review on how the National Institute Global Econometric Model (NiGEM) is being used to navigate uncertain times. NiGEM is the leading global macroeconomic model, used by both policy-makers and the private sector across the globe for economic forecasting, scenario building and stress testing. The paper summarises the main features of NiGEM and describes some standard model simulations to illustrate how the model responds to monetary, fiscal and technology shocks.
This paper assesses the evidence and investigates some of the mechanisms by which the most recent banking sector crisis might have affected the supply side of the UK economy. We find clear evidence that the banking sector crisis affected credit supply to businesses and caused bank lending to decline. But we do not find much evidence of the heterogeneity in performance between different industrial sectors that would have been expected if banking sector impairment had been the key factor holding back productivity growth. Consistent with this we do not find strong evidence that a lack of reallocation of resources across businesses has been a substantial drag on productivity growth.
The awareness of the fictional character of the experience is not a limit to be overcome by technological development, but a necessary condition and an ethical requirement.
(Pasquinelli 2010: 213, original emphasis)
In this chapter, I outline a possible argument for why virtual enactments within gamespace might require some form of moral appraisal, and therefore why the indignant cry of “It's just a game” is unlikely to deter those who, following this argument, insist that STAs are a legitimate target for moral scrutiny. I begin, however, by considering the amoralist's claim that there is no case to answer: in effect, that there is nothing about the virtual act itself that warrants moral policing. I then move on to the question of what the act represents, rather than what it is per se, and so consider the extent to which representational meaning constitutes something above and beyond the literal manipulations of pixels, thereby making it worthy of moral scrutiny. After that, I construct a framework of conditions and related questions designed to inform my assessment of different moral theories that have been (or can be) applied to video game content in order to establish how one might go about discriminating between those STAs that should be prohibited and those that should not, if indeed such selectivity is itself morally justifiable.
THE AMORALITY OF PIXELS
In 2010, the video game God of War III was said to contain some of the most brutal and intense violence ever depicted in a video game (Dan Chiappini, editor of Game Spot).
We should not only look at the “message” (violent content) but also at what the “medium” does to us, that is, what the game play itself does.
Coeckelbergh (2011: 96)
Men acquire a particular quality by constantly acting in a particular way.
(Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics, NE II i, 1103a19–21)
In this chapter I switch focus. Instead of evaluating the morality of a video game's representational content in terms of its socially significant expression or incorrigible social meaning, or the morality of the player's actions based on established rules of morality (e.g. utilitarianism and Kant), my aim is to consider whether STAs are something the virtuous person would engage in. Can the notion of actions that are characteristic of a virtuous person be used as an effective means of assessing the permissibility of video game content? If so, then if x is not characteristic of an action P would perform, in virtue of being a virtuous person, does this mean that x should be prohibited on moral grounds? The problem with this question, at least within the context of video games, is that it is conditional on x not being something that a virtuous person would do.