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Educated Gamer: Game and Punishment

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"It wouldn’t be far wrong to assert that; game designers in game worlds have more power than governments in real worlds. If they didn’t want you to steal or murder they could just make it impossible to do so. So although we live in a state with laws that we are inclined to obey with the use of coercion. In a game world laws become natural laws like gravity but of course games can be just as coercive if not more so.

For example moral choice systems often give you the option to commit atrocities, which is fair enough. It’s not strictly telling you to commit atrocities, it’s just made it possible for you to do so. Like a mad scientist making some sort of death ray, telling you how to use it, pointing it at France and leaving the room. You don’t have to do anything but you are given the option and the means to. This is why I find it slightly hypocritical when games like Infamous give you the power to make choices like this but then criticise your decisions. For instance you fire the death ray and France lies in ruins the scientist comes in and gives you an ear full. When ‘but for’ his actions my choice would not have been possible."

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