The most recent episode of The Psychology of Video Games podcast touches on a subject we don’t tackle very much: moral choices. It’s an interesting listen (there’s even a quote from Richard Garriott in there about a specific moral choice in the Ultima games), but the discussion focuses mostly on story-driven roleplaying games like Mass Effect, which often present small and large choices to the player that have a small or large impact on the way the story plays out. The psychologists argue that Moral foundations theory – a social-psych framework for understanding human morality – doesn’t quite work in video games, as players are presented with very different parameters and motivations and rulesets than in real life. (This is why we can’t always assume someone who slaughters a village in a game – or the academic on this podcast who plays Hitman – thinks that’d be OK in real life!) I thought for this week’s Overthinking we could talk about the topic as it pertains to MMOs specifically. First, have you ever been presented with what you’d consider a truly compelling moral choice in an MMO? What was it, and was it narrative- or player-driven? And second, do you… Read full this story
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