Ethically Notable Videogames: Moral Dilemmas and Gameplay
In what ways can we use games to make moral demands of players and encouraging them to reflect on ethical issues? In this article we propose an ethically notable game as one that provides opportunities for encouraging ethical reasoning and reflection. Our analysis of the videogames Ultima IV, Manhunt, and Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn highlights the central role that moral dilemmas can play towards creating ethically notable games. We discuss the different ways that these are implemented, such as placing players in situations in which their understanding of an ethical system is challenged, or by creating moral tension between the player’s goals and those posed by the narrative and the gameplay of a game. We conclude by noting some of the challenges of creating ethically notable games including ensuring that the ethical framework in a game is both discernable and consistent as well as ensuring that the dilemma is actually a moral one and that the player, rather than the game characters, is the one facing it.
Jose P. Zagal. "Ethically Notable Videogames: Moral Dilemmas and Gameplay" Proceedings of the Digital Interactive Games Research Association Conference (DiGRA 2009) (2009).