Categorizing Morality Systems Through the Lens of Fallout

Casas-Roma Joan Arnedo-Moreno Joan
2019 DiGRA '19 - Proceedings of the 2019 DiGRA International Conference: Game, Play and the Emerging Ludo-Mix

Morality systems in computer role-playing games (CRPGs) are a characteristic feature of the genre. Although there is plenty of literature studying how players relate to moral choices, only a few studies analyze or compare how specific games represent the player’s moral persona. This paper studies how morality systems have been modeled in the Fallout series to keep track of the player’s moral profile, categorizing the different techniques used in those systems. A special emphasis is put on how in-game actions affect the PC’s moral alignment, as well as how non-player characters (NPCs) react to that beyond the game’s scripted narrative. The goal is to provide guidelines that would lead to the development of more comprehensive and detailed morality systems, and where the player could immerse in a virtual world where the NPCs would act more as individual agents, with less reliance on explicitly scripted scenarios.


Designing Global Empowerment? Activist Self-Narratives in Culturally Mixed Settings

Harrer Sabine
2019 DiGRA '19 - Proceedings of the 2019 DiGRA International Conference: Game, Play and the Emerging Ludo-Mix

This paper reviews the experiences of game workshop facilitators in a culturally mixed activist setting based on narrative interviews with representatives of the Game Girl Workshop (GGW), a Denmark-based feminist initiative established in 2010. By identifying emergent themes and concerns in the organizers’ self-narratives, this study aims to unpack some current challenges activists from the Global North face when working towards empowerment in cross-cultural educational settings. Crucially, what can be experienced as "empowering" differs depending on cultural factors. This study looks at the practices and narratives GGW activists have developed in response to this intercultural challenge. The focus on workshop organizers’ narratives is motivated by two opposed ambitions. The first ambition is to honor and acknowledge the facilitators' activist experience and tacit knowledges which have allowed them to follow through with their aspirational, mostly voluntary work in the games field. The second ambition, conversely, is to identify and redress some problematic assumptions surfacing in the facilitators’ self-narratives as popular, yet potentially harmful stereotypes about Eurocentric entitlement and the Global South. By balancing these two ambitions, this study aims to validate the previous work GGW and other western feminist initiatives have done to change the status quo of game making, while identifying Eurocentrism and western entitlement as persistent myths to be resolved by current and future activists.


Good Violence, Bad Violence: The Ethics of Competition in Multiplayer Games

Nguyen C. Thi Zagal José P.
2016 DiGRA/FDG '16 - Proceedings of the First International Joint Conference of DiGRA and FDG

Most game studies research on ethics and games examines the ways games encode, express, and encourage ethical reflection and ideas through their systems, mechanics, and representational elements. However, not much attention has been paid to the ethical aspects of games as/when they are played by more than one player. In this article we use literature from the philosophy of sports to discuss how competition can be framed as an ethical activity and how doing so allows us to examine commonly used value-laden terms such as ganking, spawncamping, and trash talking. We propose the idea of the ideal moral competitive game: a game in which the best moves or plays are coincidentally those that result in the best possible degree and type of challenge for my opponent. From this baseline we then articulate a preliminary ethics of play, centered on competition that can be productive for examining and understanding the ethics of inter-player interactions.


Creative Communities: Shaping Process through Performance and Play

Parker Lynn Galloway Dayna
2016 DiGRA/FDG '16 - Proceedings of the First International Joint Conference of DiGRA and FDG

This paper studies the use of play as a method to unlock creativity and innovation within a community of practice (a group of individuals who share a common interest and who see value in interaction to enhance their understanding). An analysis of communities of practice and the value of play informs evaluation of two case studies exploring the development of communities of practice, one within the discipline of videogames and one which bridges performing arts and videogames. The case studies provide qualitative data from which the potential of play as a method to inspire creativity and support the development of a potential community of practice is recognised. Establishing trust, disruption of process through play and reflection are key steps proposed in a ‘context provider’s framework’ for individuals or organisations to utilise in the design of activities to support creative process and innovation within a potential community of practice.