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GameBandito 12-28-2011 01:30 PM

Why Morality Is Evil (or Good) In Gaming
Basically all games worth their salt these days will incorporate some sort of morality systems, like an over accommodating man taking in a lovely but sick dog. The real problem I have with these useless additions to gaming, like most half intelligent gamers, is that they add nothing to the overall enjoyment, or even playability of a game.

Anyone who has played Fable or Mass Effect will have had to come to terms with the issues I'm talking about, they must have, it's a brick wall hiding the real game from the player, no matter how desperate we are or how much we've paid. Fable, the every man's RPG, displays my concern perfectly. Throughout the franchise, you are always given 2 very polar opposite choices when making a decision. I can either give money and shelter to an orphan, or shoot him in the face (except from you can't kill the immortal children, thanks very much Molyneux, you funkiller). It becomes increasingly apparent that there is no middle of the road choices, you must choose between wholly good or being a Simon Cowell/Satan style human.

Mass Effect too, while I love the game more than my mother, shares similar problems. In Mass Effect 2, the game became filled with quick time events where rather than talk to people, you get to shoot them in the foot like an impatient nutter, or passionately embrace them like the space hippy Shephard truly was. And while I wish I could use this tactic in real life, it just makes for bad storytelling, and forces the player to have to go through at least 2 playthroughs of a game just to reach all the content the developers have created. "I wanted fries with my cheeseburger. Get ready for PAIN!

Something I find really sad is that games like Skyrim, which could truly benefit from a well designed morality system fail to have one. I run around jauntily in Whiterun, killing everyone I see (Except the children, Bethesda being another funkiller), without any consequences to my character's qualities or storyline.

Overall, it's plain to see that morality in video games has become the terrible fashion move of the gaming industry. It's like a beautiful dress, that's sold only to burly men, while beautiful women run around, seeming bare without it.

ZippyDSMlee 01-27-2012 08:54 PM

Re: Why Morality Is Evil (or Good) In Gaming
What we have seen from game to game are luzly weak attempts to define your character with either the "good" or "bad"

IMO the morality bar can be done in either 2 different ways. One it sets up how bad the world becomes if you play as a good guy the world is brighter and the more neutral NPCs try and act good you walk the dark path and things become more bleak and desolate. Bad is still bad good is still roughly good but you are treated as how you treat the people in the game world.

The other way to do it is deeper and more of a pain to do. You find the 2 purest paths a good or bad character can take(this means in games like fallout using bandits for trade and quests, sure you might have to break a few heads but its better than having an evil character freely roam in town) and then make it so that the bad character can not be seen in good moral zones and vice versa without a fight breaking out.

You then take that idea and add in shades of gray so you have Goody two shoes, good, bad ass but ok, bad ass but hole, mean asshole and baby eater levels on the bar which the world changes its tune to as you progress throughout the game.

Now ontop of that morality should done based on the town you are in then the region around it then the world at large with the idea what the "world" thinks of you changes how the game is played(IE more good guys out to kill you less bad guys out if you play as a bad guy) and also it lightly taints what the next region thinks of you. This way if you start off a complete ass and then change the world slowly excepts that change.

The moral tree we have been given splits into good,bad,dumb and asshole and dose not really branch well with each other its to watered down and generic.

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