Morality in gaming   52 votes

  1. 1. Do you intentionally chose a particular path?

    • Yes. I am the bringer of peace and harmony. I help all those I can.
      29
    • Yes. I am evil incarnate. All will fall before me.
      4
    • No way. This is the jungle, baby, and only the strong survive!
      12
    • I make no conscious choice either way.
      7
  2. 2. Do moral choices actually affect you?

    • Yes. If I behave badly I feel bad about it.
      27
    • Nope. Bring on the mayhem. This is my world, and you losers are just tourists.
      18
    • I'm a sociopath and I laugh at your infantile notions about morality.
      7

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43 posts in this topic

Posted

I was just reading this new study that suggests behaving immorally in  games might make you morally sensitive in real life.

 

It got me to thinkin' about how much I dislike acting immorally or violently in a game when I am presented with the option to either choose a "good" or "bad" path. In Fallout, I try to do the right thing by the inhabitants of the wasteland. In Mass Effect, I preferred the paragon approach, only going back through the titles to play the renegade options to see how the story or characters played out (punching that journalist in the face in ME2 made me feel like a right jerk.). 

 

In games where I have to kill people in order to progress the story I don't feel anything because they are simply obstacles which must be overcome in order to progress. If I don't shoot the Russian bad guys, blow up the rival drug cartel's hideout, or take down the gangsters hot on my trial in the streets I die or can't complete the game.

 

I threw up a quick poll for fun.

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Posted

I have no issue behaving badly in games simply due to the fact it is not how I would behave in real life.

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Posted

I don't either. Behaving "badly" in video games is usually more fun. The immediate one that comes to mind is in Mass Effect where you can choose to punch the reporter in the face or not. I punched her in the face every single time because it's hilarious.

 

I would never do that in real life but in a video game? Why not, it's all for fun. I'm not gonna get worked up over something that happens in a video game.

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Posted

The first poll option seem a bit off to me...saying "Yes" to "Do you intentionally choose a particular path?" does not necessarily mean I choose the "bringer of peace and harmony" path......I may instead choose a particular path of the bad guy/anti-hero rather than the savior.

 

Expanding on that, I often times do not choose a specific path upfront, and instead decide the fate of those around me as I play. Some may choose a peaceful path and stick all decisions around that path, whereas I tend to choose my choices as I play, often based around my feelings towards the character the choice affects or my personally feelings at the time or even previous experience if playing multiple playthroughs.

 

That being said, games like Mass Effect, I often end up with only slightly leaning one way or the other because sometimes I have to make a good/bad choice depending on the situation or the outcome I want. I rarely have a playthrough of moral games where I go pure one way or the other.

 

On the flip side, I am currently playing a Skyrim Valenwood Ranger that is morally good but follows the lore. So for example if I can help it, I only kill animals when I need meat/hides (typically they attack first anyway, but with the mods I have I need another perk and they won't attack until I attack them), and I won't pick plants or use plant products (think of a pure carnivore, complete opposite of a vegan), but I have no problem shooting every bandit, draugr, thief, assassin, etc from out of sight or in the face when I see them.

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Posted

I have no issue behaving badly in games simply due to the fact it is not how I would behave in real life.

 

I have no issue behaving badly in games simply due to the fact it is not how I would behave in real life.

However, there ARE games where behaving "immorally" comes back and bites you in the rear - the GalCiv series is the best-known of them, with "Sins of a Solar Empire" being another,  (Yes - both are developed/published by Stardock - however, all THAT means is that they are good at writing RTSes with a "morality" component.)

 

However, you can't behave completely "morally" and win - in either game series; neither implies that.  However, both game series ARE explicit in defining the consequences of making "immoral" decisions.

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Posted

The first poll option seem a bit off to me...saying "Yes" to "Do you intentionally choose a particular path?" does not necessarily mean I choose the "bringer of peace and harmony" path......I may instead choose a particular path of the bad guy/anti-hero rather than the savior.

 

 

 

 

That's a fair point. I didn't put all that much thought into how I worded it.

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Posted

in Black & White its easier to play as evil god, you get lots of manna at your disposal by creating breeder disciples, and sacrifice their newborn babies.

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Posted

I added an option.

 

Yes for being a good guy

 

Yes for being a bad guy

 

Yes for pure self-interest (anti-hero type option)

 

and the option for making no conscious choice either way.

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Posted

In Fallout if you do behave immorally karma is going to bite your arse!

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Posted

I have no issue behaving badly in games simply due to the fact it is not how I would behave in real life.

truth.

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Posted

Depends on the game and situation. Open world things (like GTA) I'll happily go on a murderous rampage, but when there's story involved I'll play the good guy.

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Posted

Games are fantasy, so they have no bearing on real life per se. However, i try to behave in games as i would in real life - as much as possible within the context of the fiction. For example, in Wolf Among Us i always try to go for the non-violent, supportive approach. Except when someone has it coming so they might get an appendage ripped off or something.

 

I always try to avoid civilian casualties in open world games. Second Son managed to finish with killing very few of the agents. Watch Dogs i think only a couple civvies died, maybe a dozen injured. As a rule i even try to minimize damage in all games, like avoiding shooting out windows and walls unless it's a firefight.

 

I don't either. Behaving "badly" in video games is usually more fun. The immediate one that comes to mind is in Mass Effect where you can choose to punch the reporter in the face or not. I punched her in the face every single time because it's hilarious.

 

I would never do that in real life but in a video game? Why not, it's all for fun. I'm not gonna get worked up over something that happens in a video game.

 

Punched her out in the first game, but made peace with her in the third was it? She was being quite reasonable and more mature the second time Shepard met her, so i appreciated the character growth BioWare instilled in her (forgot her name), and acted accordingly.

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Posted

I find it hard to answer, I sometimes feel the choices I make are strongly affected by the quality of the story telling in the said game, and the type of game. GTA... well, you can imagine the kind of choices I make there, on the other hand, in games more like... I dunno, Mass Effect, I go with my gut more for an honest reaction.

 

Oddly, games like The Sims... my real devil comes out there. Rooms and swimming pools without exits, destroying relationships out of boredom etc.

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Posted

Depends on the game and how good the acting/story line is.

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Posted

It really depends on the game, something like Fallout or Fable makes me go with some really evil choices, but I'll always have some good choices in there too. For Telltale Games, I tend to always be a more righteous person, gotta protect Snow White and Clem at all costs!

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Posted

I tend to flow towards where I suspect the greater rewards are, but have no tendencies either way.

 

I'd say the differences in rewards is the most telling of the author of the quest or story line.  In Skyrim (for example) many of the "evil" choices actually lead to the greatest reward (especially if you lie about it and get the additional "good" reward to those who believe you).  In one 3rd party mod I played a quest where the "good" way resulted in a much cheaper price for a service from an NPC, while the "evil" way resulted in just have another stupid item that was worth a little bit.  Clearly the author is of the opinion that "good" should result in a better reward than "evil" but for some reason wants to still give the option to the player.

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Posted

I try to follow the straight and narrow path to good, but in some games, those are who supposedly good whom I toil for end up being the bad guys and then I have to lock, load and become a dark hero.

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Posted

I have no issue behaving badly in games simply due to the fact it is not how I would behave in real life.

Me too. I consider myself to be a good person but I know that video games are fictional. They don't affect the way I view the real world and because of that, I have no issues doing whatever I want. In the Mass Effect games, I played Commander Shepard as exclusively renegade. My logic behind it is that I had to do whatever was necessary to save the galaxy. I didn't need to be kind or care about the life of one person when billions of lives were at stake.

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Posted

From since Knights of the Old Republic 2, I tend to end up on the paragon/light path of the game by its end, even if I take renegade/dark early on. I tend to play as I would if I were really in that given situation, so if its a tragic beginning , I'd start off with an attitude , have a bone to pick with the whole world/galaxy and stomp anyone who so happens to talk to me wrong. But as I get along with supporting characters in my party the outlook tends to lighten up. Kind of like a redemption story if you will. In the Old Republic, playing for the Empire, despite coming from a slave background, I see there are good people who are proud of their heritage and striving for better, its only the Sith who are twistedly evil. So my Inquisitor tends to screw over arrogant Sith and help the common Imperial Grunt or level headed Sith with the goal of ultimately changing the Empire (A Code Geass kind of Ideal).

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Posted

Its a game. I want to enjoy it. I always choose the dark side :p

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Posted

It really depends on the game, something like Fallout or Fable makes me go with some really evil choices, but I'll always have some good choices in there too. For Telltale Games, I tend to always be a more righteous person, gotta protect Snow White and Clem at all costs!

 

There are at least two very good reasons to protect Snow

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Posted

It is complicated: in a game, I am playing a different character, I am an actor in the story.

I can be as evil as I can be angelic.

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Posted

Generally speaking I try to do the right thing.  I was a Paragon in Mass Effect, however I did have a few Renegade points as well.  I don't usually make a conscious effort to go one way or the other, I try to react as I really would if I was really in that situation.  That's why if a choice comes up, although I tend to go with the "good" side, I also don't have any problems being a douche to people once and a while if they deserve it.

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Posted

In games where you're given a choice I usually take the good one first. Because I know it sounds silly but some games make me feel guilty for my actions. After completing a good play through I'll go back and do evil to see how different the game is. 

 

In games like GTA I'll do so much evil stuff because I find it funny. running people over etc to watch them ragdoll. 

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Posted

Generally speaking I try to do the right thing.  I was a Paragon in Mass Effect, however I did have a few Renegade points as well.  I don't usually make a conscious effort to go one way or the other, I try to react as I really would if I was really in that situation.  That's why if a choice comes up, although I tend to go with the "good" side, I also don't have any problems being a douche to people once and a while if they deserve it.

 

This is exactly how i approach games, whenever given a choice. It's not like COD or BF have enemies that try to surrender. Not usually. Typically surrendering enemies just turn around and try to attack you anyway if you let them, that's why Second Son was nice, the soldiers would surrender and you really had a choice. Also the trend towards admitting that many game characters are basically monsters is nice - both Last of Us and Tomb Raider did this well. They never gave you a real choice, which was the point, cause even though we were playing as the good guys - those good guys (and gals) were essentially murderers by most measures, driven beyond the edge by circumstances.

 

In games where you're given a choice I usually take the good one first. Because I know it sounds silly but some games make me feel guilty for my actions. After completing a good play through I'll go back and do evil to see how different the game is. 

 

In games like GTA I'll do so much evil stuff because I find it funny. running people over etc to watch them ragdoll. 

 

I never feel the need to do this, will even reload saves to see if i can get to a place without running over civilians etc. Managed to finish Watch Dogs without hurting a single cop except when it was required in missions, and those were supposedly dirty cops.

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