We’ve all blown up forts, slain vile beasts, beaten the living crap out of villains and shot guards in the head at 500m with our sniper rifles ad nauseam. At some point there is a level of burnout playing games without a moral consequence for your actions. That has changed recently with the release of more titles that force the player to make important moral decisions. This kind of game demands more thought on your actions and this adds a unique twist to the gameplay.
In Heavy Rain
, the story of a man trying to find his missing son, players are constantly asked to make difficult moral decisions. How far would you go to save your child’s life?
In Modern Warfare II, would you be able to stand by and watch a terrorist attack if it meant saving more lives?
On the surface these don't seem like difficult decisions, after all they're only games, but that's just it, invest emotionally in the game for a better more realistic experience.
This trend isn't confined to first person shooters, in the fantasy genre title Fable III,
you are no longer either good or evil you are both, constantly making moral decisions. Kill for no reason and people will fear you and deny you help. You even find yourself feeling happy when the dog who is your companion goes missing and turns up wagging it's tail and making a fuss of you.
In the corporate world, we know how moral debate can galvanize a user base. More and more brands wish to associate themselves with sustainable ideals that elevate them beyond the obvious product benefit.
Moral high-ground is the new black.
Taking a public stance on complex issues like climate change can be a positive but be aware that the consumer may also have opinions on these issues and that a black and white stance will also alienate half of the population. After all we all want to look after the planet. We just may make different moral choices on how we do it.
We're not all good or all evil.