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Justin Keverne
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It's the difference between playing Poker for matchsticks or for cash. The rules are unaltered but their context has been significantly changed. I think a large part of the appeal of these playthroughs for those not participating is that those involved, Ben in particular, are presenting their experiences as a narrative.
Toggle Commented Jul 6, 2009 on Live and Let Die at Click Nothing
This problem of the mutability of choices in games seems like something Bioware are very keen to deal with. The very nature of MMOs means that The Old Republic is structured in a way that makes any choices permanent. Whether it succeeds in making players care more, and have a greater emotional attachment to their choices will be interesting to discover. The structure of games is such that the ability for a "do over" is often necessary, difficulty spikes and poorly implemented mechanics can lead to frustration and potentially abandonment of the game if not mitigated to some extent. However when it comes to more high level choices such as those tied to ethical decisions I think the major problem with games that they often present a highly biased view of the motivations behind and outcomes of such choices. Given a choice, and assuming free will nobody makes a decision they believe to be unethical. Objectively such decisions may be unethical but subjectively they are always the correct decisions to make, even if they are the lesser of two percieved evils. I think the desire to go back and alter such choices comes from the mechanical manner in which choices are handled in games. Moralizing in games is done from a very one sided perspective and so decisions lose their weight because one is clearly good and the other bad. Players don't choose the bad option because they emphathise with it they choose it because they think they might be rewarded for it, if the reward is not present or is not bug enough they will seek to change their choice. Games exist eternally bound by the fourth wall and as such they provide a space in which choices and consequences can be explored free from social and legal restraints. If such choices are treated in a more subjective manner it could allow players to explore their own nature as sometimes they might make an unethical decision for what to them are value reasons. If the games allows for this decision without direct comment on the ethics of it players will probably continue playing for longer and potentially learn something about themselves. Isn't that kind of self reflectipn something we wantbour games to provoke? um
Toggle Commented Jun 14, 2009 on Ethical Decision Making at Click Nothing