Puresophistry - Why a “Moral Choice” in Gaming Is Awful
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April 18th, 2013, 19:28
The first Mass Effect handled this well. There were a lot of choices between two (or three) things that all had good & bad aspects to them. And the results were also both good and bad. But you were allowed to make choices according to your own morality, and the results reflected the moral choice you made.
I think the results of choices should be somewhat predictable. If later in the game it is revealed that your good choice resulted in bad things. Well, it has shock value. But it's no more a moral choice that affected the story, it was more like a question of random luck.
A proper way to have these choices is to create a logical scenario where all avaliable options are considered, and you are left with:
Choose A), and this good and this bad thing happens.
Choose B), and this good and this bad thing happens.
Choose C), and this good and this bad things happens.
…The events in the game should then reflect your choice. The good and the bad thing happens, accordingly to your choice. No surprise results, because the dilute the meaning of your moral choice. If it's all gonna be just random luck, it was a waste of time to make the choice in the first place.
That doesn't mean there can't be any surprise consequences later on, but they have to naturally grow from the choice you made. You knew certain bad things were gonna happen, you just didn't know exactly what.
This kind of approach makes the moral choice meaningful, and satisfying.
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