Real-Life Morals in Gaming: "I Don't Want to Shoot the Android"

Tuesday, December 20, 2022

Real-Life Morals in Gaming: "I Don't Want to Shoot the Android"

Detroit-become human

In interactive story games, players make decisions that advance and modify the unfolding story. In many cases, these decisions have a moral component.  

However, not much research has been done regarding this decision-making process.  

Cayley MacArthur, Katja Rogers, and Lennart E. Nacke, professors at the Stratford School, have investigated these moral scenarios by looking at how players of the game Detroit: Become Human used their real-world morals to make decisions. 

"We focused on their reasoning behind moral decision-making and if they associated their choices to distinct real life moral values. Their reasoning can also help explain aspects in the game that affect and motivate their moral choices." 

The findings suggest that players do translate real life morality to in-game decisions, and other factors, such as connection with characters, also affect their moral choices.  

The study addresses the gap of understanding player's perspectives on morality and explores aspects that can affect how players translate their real-life morals to their gaming experiences, including how real social issues, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, affect players’ decisions in games.  

Read the full study here.