Valve: Games don't have 'moral choices'

"Moral choice" is one of the hottest buzzterms used by game developers these days, with titles such as BioShock and inFAMOUS proudly boasting that their storylines feature complex narratives where actions have consequences. Despite the best attempts of recent videogames, however, these "moral choices" never quite seem to work as advertised. We asked Valve's Chet Faliszek why this might be, and he had an interesting answer -- he believes moral choices can't exist in a game.

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DasBunker3343d ago

well they worked for me!

they made me replay infamous again right after i beat the game the first time! something ive only done with MGS4 before...

and im still playing! only 3 shards left and 2 trophies away from platinum! (no trophy wh*re)

Tony P3343d ago

I think he's trying to say that the power of an ethical dilemma is lost when you can easily hit reset.

I say a franchise like Mass Effect makes the point moot when your decisions can carry over to the next game in the series. That seems like a decent way to burden the player negatively or positively with the repercussions of his/her past choices.

C_SoL3343d ago

.......replay value buddy.

I don't give a damn what this dude says.

Moral choices add replay value to your games period.

But I do understand what the article is trying to say. (on destructoid part)

pwnzter3343d ago

is this guy to say that games cannot have moral choices when valve can't even develop a ps3 game from the ground up.

Curse thee xbox fanboy that is valve!

Pandamobile3343d ago

Xbox fanboy? Valve? Funniest thing I've heard all day.

Valve doesn't like the 360 any more than the PS3. The 360 is just easier to code for.

Valve are PC guys.

Immortal Kaim3343d ago

I actually tend to agree with this statement, and no, moral choices aren't represented by simply playing the game again because of some perceived replay value.

Because it is so easy to restart a section or reset a 'moral choice', it doesn't have any weight. I think taking that control out of the players hands is the only way to experience at least some type of moral dilemma. In my opinion MMO's have the greatest chance of creating these scenarios, because it takes this control from the player, you can no longer simply reset or load a save, your actions have repercussions that will affect the entirety of the game.

Or as someone else pointed out, Mass Effect is dabbling with these scenarios

SprSynJn3343d ago

Are what will make me want to play Fallout 3 again after I beat it the first time, or IF I ever do. This game has consumed 70 hours of my life and I have only gotten through about 20% of it. Awesome game though!

Armyless3343d ago

because the consequences aren't Real. But we play "games" in which we identify with a character who may be contested with moral choices, if that's one of the struggles presented for us 'play' with... and while the consequences may not be Real (in the tangible sense) they are in-fact real to that character, and our personification of him. We can game with morality, in the same way that we game with physics, or hunting/gathering, or war... or love. We game because we are playfully toying with what it means to be human... and morality is fair game.

pixelsword3343d ago

...where they lift most of their recent ideas. :D

JoySticksFTW3343d ago

Now THAT's the funniest thing I've heard all day :)

Syronicus3343d ago

Bingo. You took the words right out of my mouth.... or keyboard.

+ Show (8) more repliesLast reply 3343d ago
Gue13343d ago (Edited 3343d ago )

Are these guys a bunch of morons or what? >_>

Whitefeather3343d ago

Valve need to STFU. Half life, TF2 and L4D are all overrated.

jdktech20103343d ago

Considering all 3 are still heavily played with L4D topping the Xbox LIve charts week in and week out, they all seem correctly rated to me

nycredude3343d ago

I loved Half life but it's true TF2 and L4d is overated. Nothing but ok multiplayer games.

Raoh3343d ago

Enter Heavy Rain to change the game..

also it was done with Indigo Prophecy, you made a choice, you were stuck with it.. that's how it should be.

evrfighter3343d ago

like someone above stated. The reset button is always there. Save's will always be there. Moral choices could only really exist in MMO's but even then you could always create a new character and go the different route.

Chris_GTR13343d ago

well i see what you mean, who wants to let one of their characters die? ill just reload the game if my guy dies in that game heh.

Argento-Nox3343d ago


What Raoh said about Heavy Rain changing things for games with moral choices, is right. Apparently, you can't just reset the game or have multiple saves for Heavy Rain.

Once you make a choice in Heavy Rain, it apparently stays that way since the game automatically saves. If one of your characters dies, they stay dead and the story continues with your other characters.

To me there are moral choices in games like Infamous, Bioshock, etc., you either stay good or go evil. Just b/c Valve games don't have such moral dilemma's doesn't mean it's not available to games from other producers.

SprSynJn3343d ago

Sounds very promising, but I do not think it will do well with the kids. Not being able to go back after you make a mistake will cause an uproar with the intolerant attitudes most seem to have these days.

Argento-Nox3343d ago (Edited 3343d ago )


I hope Heavy Rain doesn't do well with "kids", it's clearly meant for a much more mature audience. It's true, some will be upset about not being able to go back in the game to a correct a mistake, but it's meant to give each player their own unique experience. Besides, I think it'll give the game more re-play value, to see what other outcomes, each individual player can come upon.

Redempteur3343d ago

Well if you can reset , than auto save right after the choice being made , like with the saving speed of demons soul ... ( and allow only one save )

NOw you can enjoy your moral choices

+ Show (3) more repliesLast reply 3343d ago
LinuxGuru3343d ago

Yes games can, and yes games do, have moral choice. How well the game immerses you into the experiences determines how seriously players will approach the choice.

Dead_Cell3343d ago

Has confused "moral choices" with repercussions.

GarandShooter3343d ago

'In Grand Theft Auto, I'm going around running people over, and guess what, I'm not doing that in real life.'

Doesn't look like they grasp the nuances of 'real' and 'virtual' either?

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