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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Morality in Video Games

I am going to come out and admit that when I play video games I play strictly to my own personality.
I try to envision myself into every main character and I make choices for them much like I would in real life.
I have done this in every form of gaming that I have done over the course of my whole live, perfectly exemplified by my characters in all of my Dungeons and Dragons campaigns.

The reason why I bring all of this up is because earlier today I had a conversation with one of my friends about morality choices in video games.  We were talking about how we are playing our Skyrim characters and how we plan on playing the next one.

Truth be told, my current character is a female mage who I had planned to have a huge chip on her shoulder. She was going to be a take no prisoners, kick your ass and loot your corpse later type of person.  Don't F'n tell me what You want me to do - present it in a fashion that leads me to believe there is something in it for me or go fly a kite.  Yes, she was going to be a bad-ass.
But, then reality kicked in.  I saved a prisoner for no reason other than he was a prisoner.
I killed some bad guys because they were bad and I saved some good guys because they were good.
I even took on a quest to help some little old lady because she was nice and it was the right thing to do.
Don't get me wrong, I still caused some mischief.  I stole a bunch of stuff because I thought it would look better in my house and I try to give sarcastic responses whenever the option is given to me.
In essence, I went right back to what I always do, I played (not with) myself.

So, as we were talking about this I think I came to the conclusion that morality choices in video games suck because there isn't enough gray area covered.  You are either the extremely evil dark lord of the universe or you are a goody little to-shoes pussy pansy saint who feeds the homeless and adopts stray cats in his spare time.

Here is one typical encounter to help shape your morality in a video game.
I will type it up in the style of "choose your own adventure."

You happen upon an elderly lady with a walker standing near a tree looking upwards.  She is trembling as she begs kitty to come down before she gets hurt.
What do you do

A) Crawl up into the tree with some treats and catnip that you just happen to keep in your bag of holding in order to entice the kitty down and out of the tree, avoiding danger and probably enduring yourself to the old lady so much that she puts you in her will (Turn to page 54).

B) Cast paralysis on the old lady and the kitty so neither of them can move.  Light the tree on fire so that the old lady now has to watch her prescious kitty burn alive, screaming for help.  Then Kick the old lady's walker out from her hands so that she falls down and breaks a hip.  Sever both of her legs and arms until she is just a torso with a head - in extreme pain.  Take her back to her own house and bury her in the back yard so that only her saggy tits and head are sticking out of the ground.  Cover her in the Cat-Nip that you carry in your bag of holding and dump milk and soft cat food from the can all over her face and old lady titties.  Open the door and let her other 300 cats out of the house so that they can slowly devour their owner over the course of the next week or two (Turn to page 666).

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