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."

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NastyLeftHook02063d ago

nothing in games are offensive to me, or should be to anyone.

Ezz20132063d 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)

dedicatedtogamers2062d ago

So.....the author wants LESS choice?

Ducky2062d ago (Edited 2062d 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.

dedicatedtogamers2062d 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.

Ducky2062d 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.

Conzul2062d 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.

ZodTheRipper2062d 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.

Conzul2062d ago (Edited 2062d 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.

KrisButtar2062d 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.

Reborn2062d 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.

LightningMokey2062d 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.

ZodTheRipper2062d 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.

LightningMokey2062d ago (Edited 2062d 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.

linkenski2062d 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.

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