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# Morality in Game Design

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There has been lots of discussions about violence in computer games lately, how they "effect" people and so on. I'm interested in what people consider to be moraly wrong to make a game about. What are the limits? What subject do you simply not make a game about? A couple of years ago there was some discussions about a certain type of "underground" games. Games that put the player in control of death camps in Germany durng WWII. Is this kind of games moraly wrong or are they ok? I, myself, consider this kind of game to be totally out of line and so moraly incorrect it just can be! However, we have something that is called freedom of speech, so I would like to hear from you what you consider right and wrong! -- Mr K Edited by - Mr K on 4/15/00 8:10:50 AM
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Well, in my example with the Transformers, the good always wins from the bad. Some games twist this idealism. Is this bad? I think it is!

Ofcourse, it does not encourage evil thoughts, but it CAN HURT lots of people!

Games get more realistic each day, and there will be a day that game developers have the power and technology at their hands to make a game that is indistinguishable from real life.

"I Can''t change the world, but you''ll hear my voice!"
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I would never make a game that would teach kids/people bad "things" I''m currently working on a drug dealer game =)
But it will have a funny look and you won''t learn anything that would change someone. i.e. you won''t be able to shoot people. Or somethint like that.
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This is a very interesting question, I think. If you were to ask me if a game in which you were in charge of a Nazi Death Camp, of course I would say it was utterly atrocious and evil. But if you showed me a gory, bloody game in which you KILLED Nazis, chances are I''d OK it (it''s been done many times).

Because I don''t tend to make or play particularly violent games (like First Person Shooters) I go by this philosophy:

"The violence and ''bad'' things expressed in a game should only be enough to get your point across."

For instance, in the game I am making right now, Enigma. It starts out with a woman being murdered. This is incredibly important as it drives most of the game, but I don''t spend five minutes showing the blood spurt out. I put in what is neccessary for the game and story, then move on. I feel that this is how all games should be.

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Yeah, I agree with Mr K. Making a game that takes place in a death camp in Germany sounds sick. However, it''d be neat if the game was, like, you had to eventually free as many people as you could (you know, a graphic adventure game).

I too am trying to understand why people think video games are bad. IMHO, they expand our minds. Take, for example, there''s this boss you''ve been trying to beat, and 4 days later you beat him and you remember how you did it. A kid at school tries to beat you up using similar moves as the boss. If you remember what you did against the boss, you know how you avoided him and when you fought back, you''ll be okay (okay, maybe that''s a bad example .

Top quality games don''t kick ass as well as these.

Prepare to be blown away!
-------------------------

Magic Card
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Well they way I look at you make and play the type of games you like and I''ll make and play mine. Rather then get involved in a debate that has the potenial to go on for ever and no one will benfits from it. It''s like the example that was givien below about killing Nazis and Kill Amercians etc some people would be indifferant and then other would be out at the extremes. It just pointless to argue over such a trivial matter. The only time I would try to stop someone from playing a game they liked is if it were affecting there real life in a negative way. Such as trying to them selves in the role of Dukem Nukem and go on killing rampage in a shopping center. I believe something like that really happend a guy got a little to involved with Dukem Nukem 3D and started killing people in a shopping center. The guy even shot a mirror thinking there were power ups behind it. Tragic...Yes...reason to censor games for everyone...No.
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I jumped to the bottom of this thread, so this may be a bit off topic....but I was just wondering if anyone else..occasionly confuses reality with games (for only a brief millisecond of course)

I remember after basically living for 2 months in Ultima Online, I would sometimes think to cast spells at certain times in RL.

For instance, I was skiing and I saw a group of snowboarders making trouble and for a brief second thought I
would cast a fire wall on them as they were all grouped together.

Alright, now i''m either a nut or a real hardcore gamer , but on a serious note...I wonder...as technology increases and people are able to become more and more immersed in games...if people will accidently do things is real life thinking it was a game.

I mean with hmds, ultrarealistic graphics and sound,, and who knows what else...what''s to say that someone won''t suddently take a sharp swerv on the highway, thinking for a second it was a driving game.

-Tim Yarosh
Lucid Games
www.lucidgames.net

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The driving game example is a very real one. I occasinally catch myself slipping into game mode on long trips thinking (only very, very briefly) what it would be like to take a swift right turn off a bridge.
It doesn''t help that I work 9-5 (and then some) on a driving game for my company. The more realistic the game gets the more hazy the line between staring at a small screen (that takes up most of your view) and staring at a windscreen. I keep on getting the urge to use the handbrake way to much for tight turns in RL because of the way the car handles in the game.

I have to say though...looking out my window at the suburban London traffic I don''t think my AI drives that badly at all :o)

Mike
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I agree with most of what you said, but I''ll address the parts where I don''t:

quote:
Original post by stimarco

Yes, parents can make mistakes. So what? The fault still lies with the parents. You''re supposed to *learn* from your mistakes, not cop out and blame them on someone else. It''s not our fault if a father leaves a large, loaded rifle on their bed and their bedroom door unlocked so their toddler can walk in and play. All it takes is common sense; something that appears to be in increasingly short supply.

Learning from one''s mistakes is all well and good, but I think a child''s (or an adult''s) death is just a little too serious to be put down to trial and error, no?

I think, however, the toddler example is not a good one: in this case, the kid would just be playing, and is unlikely to be a FPS expert. Whereas I am addressing more the situations where a person actively chooses to shoot someone for some reason.

quote:
Should countries like the UK be deprived of first-person shooters just because the citizens of the USA can''t be bothered to keep their artillery under lock and key?

Well, no. I have already said I don''t favour censorship. But there is a sliding scale from ''acceptable'' violence to ''unacceptable'' violence. I think Doom, for example, is unlikely to be as much of an influence as you never kill anything truly human. Whereas at the other end of the scale, you have things like Soldier Of Fortune, which looks like a great game, but I''m sure it could be a little disturbing... and some sick kid may well want to see what real-life ''gore zones'' are...

I also mentioned above that these issues are a problem with society, rather than with games as such. As you know, we in the UK have the same movies, music, games as the US. But we kill far fewer people. The problem is primarily down to other social values. This doesn''t remove the chance that video games may be a factor in violence. It may just be that here in the UK, we are not violent enough for the games to tip us over the edge.

quote:
Every time a censor removes a choice from you, it means a wall is replacing a door. That door gives freedom of choice: you can open it if you want to see what''s on the other side, or leave it closed if you don''t like the sound of all that screaming.

Some people don''t know what''s good for them, and will step through the door regardless. Sadly, often in these cases, it''s not the people who made that mistake who are the worse off for it - it''s their victims who suffer.

quote:
Art is about creating new doors. Nobody is forcing you to open them.

If every adult was mature enough to both make those choices, and was responsible enough not to take out their frustrations on innocent 3rd parties, I''d agree totally.
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