17 Apr

Everyone’s favorite video game lecturer is back! Daniel Floyd’s series of discussions on important video game topics continues with an examination of moral choices in video games, and how implementing various kinds of morality effect game development. Don’t forget to give us and Daniel your own thoughts below, join the discussion!

11 thoughts on “Daniel Floyd – Video Games and Moral Choices”

    1. You are completely right. The Witcher managed to solve this problem.

      A perfect example of this, is when some Scoia’tael (elven and dwarven rebels) wants to steal some weapons you are protecting. If you don’t let them, you are forced to fight them, eventually killing some people who just wants back the lands, the humans stole from them.

      On the other hand, if let them steal the weapons, they will use them to kill a drugdealer. Even though he is a criminal, he still deserves a fair trial, but the Scoia’tael are ruthless when it comes to completing their goal.

      No matter who you help, you interfere with matters that have nothing to do with you, and someone will die.

  1. Exactly what I was saying… stop it with todays trend of Karma systems. I don’t need to be told to feel guilty, I should just see it in the world. Daniel brought up SotC, which is the example that I always go to and usually get scoffed at

  2. Salarian voice always cracks me up. I absolutely love the final line in the video.

    I agree that the visual statistic system for good/evil should be removed. The impact should still remain. People should talk about a certain thing you did, etc. The accumulation of your play style should have certain repercussions within the game that don’t make a completely linear experience.


    Knights of the Old Republic actually had a good example of a ripple effect on a decision that was done in a cheap way.

    If you killed Juhani, a Jedi named Belaya would actually leave the order and join the Sith on Korriban in order to seek vengeance on you. Turns out they were in love with each other. So if you follow Star Wars, what happened goes into the emotion stuff etc.


    Anyway. I think there should be a mixture of clear right and wrong along with thought provoking decisions; and again, the player must be unaware of their current moral standing within the game.

    I think a lot of people have thought what Daniel has said. Hopefully we see a shift towards this line of thought in future games.

    1. I think Infamous does this quite well (except for the ‘You gained 6 badpoints think.)

      You have the “We can keep the food for ourselves or we can give it to the people”, and then you have the “I can just blow up these pumps which will force the poison into the water supply or turn the valve on the pump but get the poison on you (which lowers your max health for about 15 minutes.”

      Seriously, I was playing as a good hero, but after a few hits to my health bar, I started blowing up the pumps.

  3. I dislike games that let you either be a goody two-shoes or the devil incarnate. A morality system should have a very large gray area. I typically play through games making moral choices based on one thing–my moral compass. For well designed Western RPG’s, it makes the experience a lot more fun. But for games like InFamous, I was only good because being ‘good’ leads to the best ending.

    Developers just need to take the time to create a proper morality system with fewer ‘holy shit’ choices and more subtle ones.

    But frankly, I thought that Baldur’s Gate had it almost perfect with the reputation system. The moral choices you made determined who would join your party, how certain shopkeepers would price their goods, and how other NPC’s would treat you. Although people would invariably be good because Minsc & Dynaheir only rolled with nice folks.

    1. Eliot, then you would love The Witcher, it has one of the largest gray areas in games. Other than Witcher and Baldur’s Gate, The Fallout series has some gray moral choices, but they still have the moral meter.

      More devs need to talk to CD Projekt RED STUDIO about moral choices.

  4. I’ve never thought of it before but I definitely agree. A good few games give gray area choices but sadly, not enough of them. The majority is still playing nice or mean.

    No ones mentioned Vampire: The Masquerade: Bloodlines. A lot more subtle then most games. It truly deserves more attention then just being a “cult classic”. Nonetheless it sounds like I really need to play The Witcher. I was meaning to get it when it was first released but never got around to it. TO STEAM!!! *Batman segue*

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