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The moral cost of video games

From Matthew Devereux's article on The Christian Science Monitor:

"Fundamentally, most games operate within a moral framework: good versus evil (or vice versa). But what games conspicuously lack is moral consequence. Once you've killed someone, stolen something, or blown up a building, that's usually the end of it – you'll rarely get to see the emotional impact of your actions on the characters around you.

Every bit of mayhem becomes just another item on a video-game to-do list. Games ignore moral consequence and emotional nuance to focus on the purely visceral. There are only two types of decisions you can really make: the strategically correct one or the strategically incorrect one. There is no 'right' or 'wrong' – only success or failure.

Unbridled competition combined with no moral consequence eventually leads to a lack of compassion. And without compassion, humanity is lost."

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lynx1halo3396d ago

its more of a .....You play by real life societies rules all day every day, but when your playing a game you make the rules and your only limit is your imagination ..for a brief moment you are the ruler of all that you behold..not the other way around!!

TheExecutive3396d ago

So what if they lack moral consequence? THATS WHAT MAKES THEM GAMES! For some reason people that are "against" videogames cant wrap their head around real-life and fiction.

IntelligentAj3396d ago

Completely agreed. I play games to relieve myself of the pressures of my everyday life. I don't need to worry about moral consequences in a game. I'm fully aware of what it is i'm doing and i'm damn sure aware that i'm playing a game.

qwertyuiopasdfghjkl3396d ago

Because an individual is controlling the characters within the game, makes these politicians and other types of suits question the morality of the individual playing the game. Meaning, Little Jimmy must have a serial killer mind because he plays Counter Strike every day...

Some co-workers and I love Call of Duty 4. We play it online, and at work exchange battle stories and techniques from the night before. Does our other co-workers or people in general view us as serial killers? No, they acknowledge its just entertainment like everyone else who enjoys mature entertainment.

The general public needs to understand that the controlling of the main character in games, isnt a step in the wrong direction, creating moral problems, its a huge step forward in entertainment, creating the most visceral experience of all media types.

RecSpec3396d ago

Let's not put carjacking and head-shots in video games. Let people do that in real life. Idiot. People are the same no matter what, you don't become a bad person from doing bad things in video games. You become a bad person from the environment you grew up in, your family, your friends, a bad experience when you were a child. Come on all of you. Why can't people use common sense.

Statix3396d ago

Videogames can be a significant portion of where and how you grew up. Studies have shown that videogames can increase aggressive behavior. Of course, this varies greatly according to the individual and the type of videogame, but as a general rule it is correct.

Gorgon3396d ago

Personaly, I somewhat agree with this article to a certain point. Its not the violence itself that is a problem. Its the lack of moral consequence. If we want games to become more serious, more respectful, more meaningful, then we should take into account the consequences of actions. The best games always do, just like the best movies or books. Unfortunately, those are very few.

dionnysus3396d ago

i found this article insightful and i thought it addresses certain issues without being too biased on the 'violence & video game' theme. today we are starting to see games that provide moral dilemas of what a player does in a game and the rewardings/ consequences (eg Bioshock, Deus Ex). it would be refreshing to see more designers to take note. of course there will be mindless games that revel in blood/ guts, with no apologies, but these ought to be in hands of adults who should be able to distinguish fact and fantasy.

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