reflection wk 10 – moral choice

Consider the issue of moral choice in video games. Do games offer meaningful moral choices to players? Should they? Can they? What is necessary to make a moral decision meaningful anyway?

Bioshock is a good example of a game that prompted a lot of discussion about its moral choices. Even if you haven’t played the game, it’s worth reading some of these to the different takes on the question.

There are games out there that offer decision making with moral choices but it does not appear to be the majority, possibly due to the additional complexity to produce.

Metal Gear Solid series features a lot of moral choices:  in MGS1 you can choose to endure the torture or not which ultimately leads to whether the protagonist survives towards the end or not; in MGS2 you have the choice of whether to execute any unconscious characters or not, some characters if being shot dead will result in immediate game over; MGS3 and MGS4 if you tranquilize the boss you will be rewarded with functional unlockables.

To make moral decision meaningful i think it is critical to make the players understand the consequence of each choice available.  The moral decision should reward players and punish otherwise, else the player has no motivation to consider whether their conscience should kick in or not.

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