Destructiod had the chance to talk with Valve’s Chet Faliszek concerning the recent uptick of the moral choice theme in games, specifically, why the choice was never there to begin with. His answer was a bit surprising – and a lot refreshing.
He explains that there cannot be a true moral decision if we never have to live with the consequences of that choice. “We do things in our game to get you to behave better, to make you play together, to have this interaction in a game, but I don’t think those are moral choices,” Faliszek continues. Even though a game allows us to be evil and do bad things, such as “In Grand Theft Auto, I’m going around running people over, and guess what, I’m not doing that in real life.” He doesn’t think games allow us to make a moral choice which has a lasting effect.
“So, in the context of games having moral choices, that’s a weird thing to me. I don’t think they have real moral choices when I think of that. They have something else, like strategic choices, choices inside their world, but to me a moral choice is something that would live outside of a game. I don’t see that.”
Ahh… smell that? It’s the scent of actual common sense.