Implied Ethics In Game Rule Sets


Alexx Kay, 2K Boston.

Session Audio

Devin Griffiths was kind enough to supply audio from the session.

Session Notes

Alicia Verlager's Notes

games with explicitly have moral or ethical psych attached to them but even when not explicit messages are attached

everyone starts in the same place, the outcomes are highly variable and along the way you have no choices or ability how to affect where you get

tic tac toe offers choices but realize there is only one choice and with extra players always ties

Life has choices attached to it but is all about conforming to social norms and not very broad choices

more complicated games you can find emergent properties of their game sets

Diplomacy the forces are so betrayal and ….are explicitly built into them

video games Sterling's book Islands in the Net had one incident in it protagonist trapped in war submarine eighties era video games

"one game was called missile command…the machine always won, annihilating all life….children had once played this game…space invaders,. lock step, they always won…but you always died in the end as if circuitry could enjoy winning eldritch so twentieth century…round yellow consumer…"

he's missing one of the vital structural reasons all three of those games are fundamentally capitalist at root

we make it so that you never win there's always more game in front of you

Chris Crawford's Balanceof Power cold war simulator a screen of bare text comes up saying I'm not giving you a big flashy armageddon

Civilization Revolution

you blow up a city but they're no repercussions for you

original Civilizatoin subtle ideology in most iterations of Civ nuclear weapons are strategically suck they cause massive pollution, everyone in the world hates you

that was all done through game design balance

playing the game without military force is possible, but it is easier to use military force

Things your game is saying that you don't necessarily realize it is saying

even in democracy there's one person who decides everything

What we have to remember when you're playing these games is you're not you you're like an autistic sociopath….

clearly there's a lack of realism here but there's some ideas about how the world works

Monk3y Island the only game

te concepts of reward and failure the early infocomm games and Sierra was expressed thourgh fzilure: if ou do the wrong thing you will die but amusingly

Monkey Island the first game in wich it was impossible to not win

there's a difference between losing and locking ourself into an unwinnable state

The Sims all the sims are all bisexual all the time in terms of message that game mechanic but it's never spoken

these things are more powerful because they're silent

genre expectations trunk

once you know what the long term reward is to be it becomes clear

character change of heart is difficult to impossible to have because you have chosen the dark side early in the game

tell me where I should save the game so I can see the alternate ending

at which point do yhou have to determine if your character is good or evil?

knights of the old republic and fable are affected by your moral choices spoiled by deus ex praises you instead of allowing you to make a moral choice based on your action not waht you're saying

your character spontaneously justifies things you did actor talking in a monotone voice

through dialogue trees and its obvious which is good and which is evil

extremely dark game costova shadows of based on russian mythology

to get the staff a living creature has to willingly sacrifice her life for someone who is dead and you persuade a little girl whose friend is a beast

the girl screams in terror and you have to spend time with the little girl and find out why she became and vampire and you feel bad about sacrificing her only friend in the world

if you're playing as a paladin there is a rozoco a girl who died by being drowned the last thing you do to release her is to go back and show her love and at that point she is half betweent he world of the living and the dead

the game is not showing a metric of yu're 25 percent evil or 25 percent good

letting the player determine how the player feels about the story of the morally ambiguous character

torment a driving force of their game design what dialogue shifts result in moral alignment


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