Designing Ethical Dilemmas - Long

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Information about Designing Ethical Dilemmas - Long
Design

Published on August 3, 2009

Author: ManveerHeir

Source: slideshare.net

Description

Slides from 30 minute talk on Designing Ethical Dilemmas given at the IGDA Madison Chapter meeting in July 2009

Designing Ethical Dilemmas Manveer Heir Raven Software July 28, 2009

What Would You Do... If you had to choose between your wife and your daughter? You found a wallet on the street with $1000 and no clear owner? Watch a mother and her child wither away to ensure your survival?

If you had to choose between your wife and your daughter?

You found a wallet on the street with $1000 and no clear owner?

Watch a mother and her child wither away to ensure your survival?

Who Is This Guy? B.S. Computer Science – Virginia Tech Programming Intern at Big Huge Games on Rise of Legends Gameplay Programmer at Raven Software on Wolfenstein for 2+ years Game Designer at Raven Software on Wolfenstein Currently Lead Designer on a top-secret project

What This Talk Is About How to understand and design games that let players experience ethical dilemmas This talk is not about: Ethical responsibilities of the designer How to act ethically in the workplace

How to understand and design games that let players experience ethical dilemmas

This talk is not about:

Ethical responsibilities of the designer

How to act ethically in the workplace

No one told me research = reading :(

Why Ethical Dilemmas? One tool to create more meaningful play experiences Need game emotions beyond fear and aggression Can be the key to unlocking these new emotions in players

One tool to create more meaningful play experiences

Need game emotions beyond fear and aggression

Can be the key to unlocking these new emotions in players

 

Ethics vs. Morals Morals are the “principles of right and wrong behavior” (Merriam-Webster) Ethics are “a set of moral principles: a theory or system of moral value” (Merriam-Webster) Ethics are “a rational, methodological approach to the questions of good, evil, duty and values” (Sicart)

Morals are the “principles of right and wrong behavior” (Merriam-Webster)

Ethics are “a set of moral principles: a theory or system of moral value” (Merriam-Webster)

Ethics are “a rational, methodological approach to the questions of good, evil, duty and values” (Sicart)

Types of Ethical Designs Open Ethical Design Open System Design Open World Design Closed Ethical Design Substracting Design Mirroring Design (Sicart)

Open Ethical Design

Open System Design

Open World Design

Closed Ethical Design

Substracting Design

Mirroring Design

Open Ethical Design Open System Design Rules, systems, and mechanics are affected by player choice, but not narrative Games such as BioShock Open World Design Character, narrative, fiction being affected by player choice Games such as Fable

Open System Design

Rules, systems, and mechanics are affected by player choice, but not narrative

Games such as BioShock

Open World Design

Character, narrative, fiction being affected by player choice

Games such as Fable

Closed Ethical Design Subtracting Design Player knows actions have weight, but has to decipher Player deciphers the ethics of gameplay outside the scope of the game Mirroring Design Create a relation between the actions of the player and the character Can reward unethical gameplay this way to challenge the player's ethical framework

Subtracting Design

Player knows actions have weight, but has to decipher

Player deciphers the ethics of gameplay outside the scope of the game

Mirroring Design

Create a relation between the actions of the player and the character

Can reward unethical gameplay this way to challenge the player's ethical framework

Dilemmas Require Open Design Closed designs rely on a high level of authorship by the designer These games can potentially become preachy and don't take full advantage of the medium Open designs are harder to account for, but potentially more rewarding Open designs will be the way in which our games will open up new emotional responses in players

Closed designs rely on a high level of authorship by the designer

These games can potentially become preachy and don't take full advantage of the medium

Open designs are harder to account for, but potentially more rewarding

Open designs will be the way in which our games will open up new emotional responses in players

We Got Problems

 

Black and White Model Designers tells you if you are doing a good or bad job Binary system that doesn’t account for ambiguities that exist Applying scores and mechanics to ethical decisions marginalizes the decision

Designers tells you if you are doing a good or bad job

Binary system that doesn’t account for ambiguities that exist

Applying scores and mechanics to ethical decisions marginalizes the decision

BioShock Saving or killing Little Sister’s starts off as an emotionally impactful decision Turns to realization of the strategy Robs the impact of the ethical decisions and turns the decision into one of optimal strategy

Saving or killing Little Sister’s starts off as an emotionally impactful decision

Turns to realization of the strategy

Robs the impact of the ethical decisions and turns the decision into one of optimal strategy

Star Wars Never feel like Luke in the games Need something more Need ambiguity!

Never feel like Luke in the games

Need something more

Need ambiguity!

World is Gray

How Do We Reach Our Potential? Narrative Consequences Obstacles Permanence

Narrative

Consequences

Obstacles

Permanence

Narrative Player must be invested in world Not economically invested Emotionally invested Ludic elements need to support narrative elements Ludonarrative Dissonance (Hocking)

Player must be invested in world

Not economically invested

Emotionally invested

Ludic elements need to support narrative elements

Ludonarrative Dissonance (Hocking)

No Magical Formula For Narrative

Consequences Choices have consequences Need to significantly impact the game Player needs to understand consequence is a result of earlier choice Do not minimize impact of consequences

Choices have consequences

Need to significantly impact the game

Player needs to understand consequence is a result of earlier choice

Do not minimize impact of consequences

Mass Effect

Obstacles Obstacles can make the player stop Push player down a new path Try making “moral” road the more difficult Game paths don't have to be equal Challenge player's conceptions of what is ethical!

Obstacles can make the player stop

Push player down a new path

Try making “moral” road the more difficult

Game paths don't have to be equal

Challenge player's conceptions of what is ethical!

Train

Permanence Redoing our choices robs them of the impact Choices that are mechanical (shooting) are fine to redo Forces player to live with consequences Lends self to experiential gameplay, not mastery

Redoing our choices robs them of the impact

Choices that are mechanical (shooting) are fine to redo

Forces player to live with consequences

Lends self to experiential gameplay, not mastery

Tenpenny Tower

A Funny Thing Happened...

ENRAGED UPSET BETRAYED DISGUSTED

How Does Tenpenny Tower Fare? Narrative – I care about the world of Fallout, I feel bad for the Ghouls being treated like less than humans. I want to save them and “do the right thing”. Consequences – If I “do the right thing” the humans still die and they never come back. Obstacles – It's easier to just kill one side outright. “Doing the right thing” requires me to convince others and do an extra quest Permanance – I decided not to let myself reload... why?

Narrative – I care about the world of Fallout, I feel bad for the Ghouls being treated like less than humans. I want to save them and “do the right thing”.

Consequences – If I “do the right thing” the humans still die and they never come back.

Obstacles – It's easier to just kill one side outright. “Doing the right thing” requires me to convince others and do an extra quest

Permanance – I decided not to let myself reload... why?

VENGENCE

This Is The Potential Of Ethical Dilemmas In Games

Thank You Questions? Contact Info E-Mail: [email_address] Design Rampage: http://designrampage.blogspot.com Follow me on Twitter: @manveerheir

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