I’ll be speaking a bit about Ethics, what it means to me and then how we can apply them in making games.
I completed some exercises at PhilosphyExperiments.com. These exercises give a broad overview and testing of your ethical standings and how consistent you are to them over different situations. According to the site I remained consistent but irregular in my choices.
To me ethics are what you believe to right or wrong. Where you draw the line morally and what lens you see the world through.
Ethics in games
The international game developers association has a code of ethics to:
“To promote the growth of our industry and the growth of creative endeavors;
To ensure a professional standard of workplace environment for all development;
To publicly establish and communicate our standards as media professionals.”
One of the parts of this code that stood out to me was: Section 1, point 8: “Strive to share knowledge even while protecting intellectual property, for the growth of our peers as professional craftspeople and our industry”(“Code of Ethics – International Game Developers Association (IGDA)”, 2017)
Here are some examples of role-playing games that offer ethical dilemmas and feature morality systems:
- Dragon Age
- Mass Effect
- Baldur’s Gate
- The Walking Dead
This games all offer difficult choices and make the player use their moral code to decide how to play the game. Their choices usually have lasting consequences and make the player think and feel the impact of their choice.
This blog has some good commentaries on games that have moral dilemmas: http://tag.hexagram.ca/?s=ethics&x=27&y=18
“Games, by their very nature, teach ethical principles. The vast majority of games require patience and fair play, which tends to be naturally enforced by your fellow players. You are required to adhere to various rules. You are expected to finish what you have started, unless you can peaceably obtain consent from others to resign. You are expected to be gracious, both in winning and losing. And so on.”(Berlinger, 2017)
In my limited game development experience,I haven’t had a experience where I have been uncomfortable and crossed a line. I can see how this situations could come up and how the choices that have to be made, wouldn’t be easy.
I feel have responsibility in creating VR games and experiences. I try to give my players a great first VR experience and represent my industry and the hardware in a positive light. I know the responsibility and power I have in painting that person’s perception of that technology. I strive to avoid motion sickness and make controls and tutorials in my games to make them as accessible and inviting as possible.
Try to keep these principles in mind when creating games and representing the games industry.
Thanks for reading!
Berlinger, Y. (2017). Ethics in Gaming 5.0. Thegamesjournal.com. Retrieved 4 May 2017, from http://www.thegamesjournal.com/articles/Ethics5.shtml
Code of Ethics – International Game Developers Association (IGDA). (2017). Igda.org. Retrieved 4 May 2017, from https://www.igda.org/?page=codeofethics