Design of a Serious Game for Cybersecurity Ethics Training

Ryan Malcolm McEwan Mitchell Sansare Vedant Formosa Paul Richards Deborah Hitchens Michael
2022 DiGRA ’22 – Proceedings of the 2022 DiGRA International Conference: Bringing Worlds Together

Serious moral games offer a tool for moral development that can help players translate ‘head knowledge’ of ethical principles into habits of everyday practice. In this paper, we present the design process behind one such game: Prescott & Krueger, a serious game for training information technology students in cybersecurity ethics. Our design draws on the Four Component Model of moral intelligence and the Morality Play model for serious moral game design. We reflect on how these models influenced our design process. The Four Component Model proved a useful set of lenses for developing learning outcomes and game narrative and mechanics, however the more prescriptive Morality Play model was more difficult to apply as the development of a sophisticated ‘moral toy’ required modelling both low-level cybersecurity systems and high-level ethical interpretations. We reflect on the broader implications of this problem for serious moral game design.


Four Lenses for Designing Morally Engaging Games

Ryan Malcolm Staines Dan Formosa Paul
2016 DiGRA/FDG '16 - Proceedings of the First International Joint Conference of DiGRA and FDG

Historically the focus of moral decision-making in games has been narrow, mostly confined to challenges of moral judgement (deciding right and wrong). In this paper, we look to moral psychology to get a broader view of the skills involved in ethical behaviour and how they may be employed in games. Following the Four Component Model of Rest and colleagues, we identify four “lenses” – perspectives for considering moral gameplay in terms of focus, sensitivity, judgement and action – and describe the design problems raised by each. To conclude, we analyse two recent games, The Walking Dead and Papers, Please, and show how the lenses give us insight into important design differences between them.