Morality in Games

An online friend, Robert Sharp, wrote an interesting post about moral responsibility in video games. Robert teaches university-level philosophy and loves video games, so he’s well-equipped to discuss the topic.

Do the decisions we make in games reflect our inner character? It’s an interesting discussion, and David Bryant and I riff on Robert’s discussion and take it a bunch of different directions.


Backpack-FrontLeft-570x727I’ve acquired an iPhone 6s+, almost unintentionally. Also, Nvidia finally releases the specs on the GTX 1070, which is likely to be the affordable GPU of choice for many gamers.

We’re also contemplating video. Baby steps, people, baby steps.

David waxes lyrical about his Cannae Pro Legion tactical backpack as well as his shiny new MeFoto Roadtrip tripod.


Most of David’s recent fun times has been following the Sharks through the playoffs. He’s also prepping for Maker Faire, playing The Division, and taking some tentative steps towards cosplaying. He also shares a few more podcasts he deems worthy.

I’ve wrapped up book four of Marko Kloss’ Frontlines series, an different take on hard military science fiction. It tells a much more personal story, with less hoo-rah than most of its brethren. The books are also excellent page turners. Kloos spent a few years as an NCO in the German Bundeswehr, so may have a different perspective than American writers of the genre. The first novel is Terms of Enlistment, so go check it out.

I’ve also been playing Doom, as well as slowly making my way through XCOM2 in iron man mode. This time, I may actually make it to the end.

1 comment

  1. Interesting discussion. I think David is right to point out that realism levels matter here, because some games make our choices seem more real than others. Bulletstorm, for example (which David mentioned) is over the top, almost silly in its portrayal of violence. In real life, we’ll never get to shoot a huge wheel and have it roll down and crush people (if I’m remembering the game correctly). But I would also love to know whether my actions affect the game later, as David says. I think games like Pillars of Eternity do this well, through virtue points and factions. One of the articles on my blog is about that…actually more than one. I really like how that game approaches ethics. It does play with the tropes that Loyd mentions a bit, too. There are definitely ways in which those tropes could influence our real lives, by enforcing certain stereotypes. That’s one of the reasons I like when those tropes are overturned, in the way Loyd mentioned in Dragon Age. Again, I think Pillars is pretty good about this, too. Anyway, thanks for the nuanced discussion about these topics.

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