Mouse Smash

JC Lau's blog about geekery, gender and other rants


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Morality and Games, and the Morality of Games

I started contributing to International Games Day @your Library, which is a non-profit, volunteer-run organization to make games inclusive in library collections. In my writing for them, I analyze some issues in games and write down my thoughts. This piece originally appeared on their blog.

morality1

One aspect of playing games is that we can do things in games that we cannot—for a variety of reasons—do in real life. We become fighters, adventurers, characters with distinct motivations and abilities to our actual selves. For example, even if we can’t fly in real life, we might be able to in a game. Or maybe we develop ninja-like fighting skills, while in real life we are horribly uncoordinated.

Notice that the examples I give about are cases where we’re limited by physical boundaries. But what about moral considerations? Just because there are games where we can kill, backstab, steal, and rape, does this mean that we should do those things? What do our moral decisions in games tell us about what kinds of people we are? Continue reading

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Review: Tormentum – Dark Sorrow

Tormentum

Tortmentum is not your regular point and click adventure game. Polish indie studio OhNoo promises a deep philosophical story of redemption, where the player’s moral choices affect the outcome. How well the game does this is debatable, but it is still worth playing for the amazing sensory experience.

The protagonist starts the game as a hooded, nameless amnesiac locked in a metal cage under a flying machine, his companion being a giant talking rat. From there, he has to escape from a hellish dungeon, travel across a desert and find out why he only has a memory of a particular statue. This sounds easy enough, although there are choices that the player makes along the way, such as lending help to one character over another, which are designed to influence the game’s outcome. Continue reading