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Moral choices you make in games

morality choices study video games pc consoles

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Poll: Morality in gaming

Do you intentionally chose a particular path?

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Do moral choices actually affect you?

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#1 compl3x

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Posted 02 July 2014 - 00:29

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.




#2 vetDirtyLarry

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Posted 02 July 2014 - 00:34

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



#3 trag3dy

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Posted 02 July 2014 - 00:38

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.



#4 Nagisan

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Posted 02 July 2014 - 00:43

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.



#5 PGHammer

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Posted 02 July 2014 - 00:43

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.



#6 OP compl3x

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Posted 02 July 2014 - 00:50

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.



#7 Torolol

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Posted 02 July 2014 - 00:51

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.



#8 OP compl3x

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Posted 02 July 2014 - 00:54

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.



#9 Praetor

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Posted 02 July 2014 - 01:06

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



#10 suprNOVA

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Posted 02 July 2014 - 01:14

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

truth.



#11 virtorio

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Posted 02 July 2014 - 01:17

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.



#12 neoadorable

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Posted 02 July 2014 - 01:19

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.



#13 Mark

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Posted 02 July 2014 - 01:39

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.



#14 +techbeck

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Posted 02 July 2014 - 01:58

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



#15 Brendeth

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Posted 02 July 2014 - 02:03

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!