Submitted by PureSophistry 869d ago | interview

Why a “Moral Choice” in Gaming….Is Awful


"Moral choice systems have seen a resurgence of popularity in the current generation with several titles in the past few years offering the player varying degrees of choice. These may not always be dubbed as “moral” systems, serving instead to just offer some variety between playthroughs, but there is very often an aura of “good” and “evil” about each of the options.

Now this doesn’t extend to sandbox games, like Skyrim or Saints Row: The Third, because those games feature a host of choices by their very definition. I’m talking about games with clear cut characters and plots that contain pivotal moments where the player choice has an impact on the storyline; be it the death of a character, a shift in opinion or a radically different ending." (inFamous 2, PC, PS3, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, The Walking Dead: Episode 1 "A New Day", Xbox 360)

NastyLeftHook0  +   869d ago
nothing in games are offensive to me, or should be to anyone.
Ezz2013  +   869d ago
very simple ...if you think a game is offensive to you
don't buy it then ...problem solved :)

and i loved Infamous 2 ....both ending were awesome (Evil/good)
dedicatedtogamers  +   868d ago
So.....the author wants LESS choice?
Ducky  +   868d ago
No, the author wants choices which aren't boxed into two arbitrary bins of good/evil.

He even used examples of TWD and HeavyRain where choices added to the experience, and are actually difficult choices to make, whereas a game like MassEffect or Infamous gives you a cartoonish choice and tells you one choice is good, the other is bad... and are not that difficult to make at all.

Reading the article helps.
#1.2.1 (Edited 868d ago ) | Agree(7) | Disagree(0) | Report
dedicatedtogamers  +   868d ago
@ Ducky

Um, I did read the article. The problem with the more open-ended "morality" systems you mentioned is that a lot of people simply don't like that style of choice. Often, it's easier just to say "I'm going for the good ending" and make decisions based on that goal. A handy little meter helps those people make their simulated moral choices.
Ducky  +   868d ago
^ Well, that's a better argument.

Saying the author wants less choice, on the other hand, didn't make much sense given what the author wrote.
Conzul  +   868d ago
The only thing that was wrong with the moral choices in inFamous was that they were color coded for idiots. The setups were frequently good and the choices truly ambiguous. I wish they hadn't ruined it by judging for us.
ZodTheRipper  +   868d ago
Even without the colorization, everybody would know which choice gives good and which choice gives bad karma. Games need (not all, of course) complicated choices that aren't categorized by "good" and "evil", but rather by how the choice affects characters, the game world and of course the whole story.

I guess, with better hardware and better engines, things like that could be easier to develop and we'll see much more of that in the future. Games like Heavy Rain and The Walking Dead do those things pretty well (although, the downside is that it feels a bit stiff), but there's still a lot that can be improved for an overall better, more cinematic experience.
Conzul  +   868d ago
Well some of the choices were easy, but you're simplifying too much IMO. For example, the final moral choice in inFamous 1: I don't believe that there WAS a right or wrong to it, yet they still color-coded it for us.

Hell, even if you decide to try and save your girfriend near the end instead of the six doctors; I don't think that was as cut and dry as they made out either.
#1.3.2 (Edited 868d ago ) | Agree(0) | Disagree(0) | Report
KrisButtar  +   868d ago
Games that have these choices is what draws me to them, I never would have played the Fable series or Infamous series. and is the reason I am buying Souls Sacrifice.
Reborn  +   868d ago
No surprise. Majority tend to prefer things like simply shooting things on screen, without applying any thinking.

I don't see how it's awful. It opens up the mind.
LightningMokey  +   868d ago
My only issue with these types of games (Mostly Fable) Is that it's a lot harder to be the good guy, and way more fun being the bad guy. It's like they want you to kill random people.

Not offended at all though, I love both Infamous and the first Fable.
ZodTheRipper  +   868d ago
And that's one of the big challenges a developer has to face when implementing moral choices. They did their job well if you really have to think about your choices, inFamous 2 did this by giving you completely different powers but unfortunately you were pretty much stuck to being good/bad.
That's where games like The Walking Dead or Heavy Rain come into play, they gave you different benefits by not limiting you to one playstyle. I hope to see more of that in the future, but not limited to the adventure genre.
LightningMokey  +   868d ago
An agree and bubble up for you good sir.

I forgot to mention those games, but even in them, it was very hard not to do the same thing over and over (moral wise). I'm actually developing a game (no you're not getting it out of me) that will include morals, just keep an eye on kick starters, 2 months in college and i'll be on my way to becoming an Indy developer.
#4.1.1 (Edited 868d ago ) | Agree(1) | Disagree(0) | Report
linkenski  +   868d ago
This reminds me of what i thought was a bummer in all of Mass Effect 3 (ending aside). You are no longer choosing character-defining dialogue choices, but you are making the choices that mean something. To me that's worse than in ME2 where you chose almost every line of dialogue spoken by your character, because it gave you the possibility to completely shape his personality. Whether a choice was about morality didn't really matter for me. It was all about shaping the character to fit into a certain kind of role.
ziggurcat  +   868d ago
why "articles" like this are awful.
oof46  +   868d ago
I don't think there is anything wrong with having moral choices in videogames. What I think should be fixed is having those choices being so binary, being so black and white, that they are either "good" or "bad" choices. Games should just have you make choices and not spell out if they are "good" or "bad".
GDDR6_2014  +   868d ago
"Good" and "Evil" choices are silly, such a Christian way to look at the world
cpayne93  +   868d ago
No need to start one of THOSE arguments...
andjudunno  +   868d ago
I was JUST saying the same thing about Infamous 2, that Nix and Kuo shit kinda killed it for me
Stallion  +   868d ago
I think Infamous 2 and Infamous one did a good job with its very basic karma system. However, I do believe in more complex situations, MASS EFFECT 3 QUARIANS/GETH, its can hurt the game. Certain situations in ME3 like Q/G should've been your choice and not have affect the morality of your character.
haymoza  +   868d ago
replayabilty is awful?

This author doesn't even deserve the hits.
Kratoscar2008  +   868d ago
The SMT series does it right, the choices are divided by Lawful, Chaotic and Neutral. All of these choices arent good or bad, they all depends on the player philosphy. You feel like a society without individual identity is good? Go Lawful. You feel like a world of freedom is better for the individual sake at expense of the rest of the community? Go Chaotic. You feel like there isnt a right answer and both sides arent inherently right? Go Neutral.

Choices is always good, i prefer more choices even if bad over no choices at all.
smashcrashbash  +   868d ago
Yeah I guess you don't understand the limitations of gaming.If you want more choices besides just good or evil then you would have to make the game at least ten times longer.The complexity of what a human is capable of becoming can never be simply explained.If you want something else besides simple good and evil then Infamous would have to be thousand hour RPG. The choices you made in Infamous were guidelines to the different endings.

For you to be more complex then that then you would have to have at least twenty endings to cover the various ways you could go. Think about it.Look at Infamous. Suppose you want to be neutral.How does the game portray that? How do you know how many people to kill or not kill? Or what else do you do? Do you just sit back and do nothing while the city burns? What kind of game would that be? Or suppose you decide that you will rule Empire city? What then? Do you sit on a throne and tell your minions what to do? How do you know what will make people revolt and what makes you look benevolent? If you for instance decide to kill the guy with the poster instead of letting him put up any.What will that lead to? What will not being famous add to your goal? You see what I mean? It is easy to say that black and white choices are dumb but complex choices take much more time to do. The choices you make in life are basically good or evil.

And what would be the point not telling you which thing you do is with? If you decide to do something that you think is right and it ends up wrong how can you guide yourself to the ending you want? You could play through the game five times and get the same bad ending every time because you didn't know what you were doing was bad.And if Cole decides to become good in the middle of all his evil then how does the game compensate for that? Do your evil powers disappear and you get good powers instead? You see it is easy to say 'moral choice is awful' but do you really want to spend half the game trying to create some sort of moral compass that may or may not end up the way you wanted.Should Cole also have the choice to go for therapy and cry over everyone he kill too to make it more complex?
#13 (Edited 868d ago ) | Agree(0) | Disagree(1) | Report | Reply
JeepGamer  +   868d ago
I don't mind the whole moral choice system.

I mind that it's always either good guy or being a prick about it. At least be creative about it.
e-p-ayeaH  +   867d ago
moral system adds replayability and that´s why i like it.

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