369 Important Decisions Are Easier In Games

Playing a lot of Fallout 4 recently has me thinking about morality in decisions in gaming versus real life.

During the game, there’s a point at which the situation changes drastically. Your character has been searching desperately for his/her child all throughout the “wasteland,” and finally is confronted with what has happened. There is a choice that can be made, to either continue with your crusade in the wasteland, helping less fortunate people while risking your life, or adopt a significantly safer life underground with your son.

I haven’t finished the game yet, so I’m not aware of any potential (and likely!) crazy plot twists, but let’s assume there aren’t any. I had a moment where it was clear to me the divide of moral decision, between the video game and what I personally would do in that situation. In both cases, I think I’d choose the latter, to adopt the safer life underground. But, in the game, I feel more guilty. Because I know that the “consequences” aren’t actually real. There’s nothing bad that’s going to happen if I choose to be selfish and stay with my son.

In real life though, the decision would be much more emotional. I’d love to think that I’d have the morality to choose the altruistic path, to help the settlers in the wasteland survive because I have the means to do so. But I’m sure that I would end up being persuaded by my emotions, and then ultimately regretting it or being haunted by the decision.

So, the point is that the divide between those two realities (or, well, one of them isn’t a reality I guess) is really interesting to me. It reminds me that video games have the unquestionable power to cause us to look inwardly at ours selves, hopefully for the better.

[ Today I Was Playing: nothing… ]

January 4, 2016