Beyond Choices: The Design of Ethical Gameplay

How computer games can be designed to create ethically relevant experiences for players.Today s blockbuster video games and their never ending sequels, sagas, and reboots provide plenty of excitement in high resolution but for the most part fail to engage a player s moral imagination In Beyond Choices, Miguel Sicart calls for a new generation of video and computer gHow computer games can be designed to create ethically relevant experiences for players.Today s blockbuster video games and their never ending sequels, sagas, and reboots provide plenty of excitement in high resolution but for the most part fail to engage a player s moral imagination In Beyond Choices, Miguel Sicart calls for a new generation of video and computer games that are ethically relevant by design In the 1970s, mainstream films including The Godfather, Apocalypse Now, Raging Bull, and Taxi Driver filled theaters but also treated their audiences as thinking beings Why can t mainstream video games have the same moral and aesthetic impact Sicart argues that it is time for games to claim their place in the cultural landscape as vehicles for ethical reflection.Sicart looks at games in many manifestations toys, analog games, computer and video games, interactive fictions, commercial entertainments, and independent releases Drawing on philosophy, design theory, literary studies, aesthetics, and interviews with game developers, Sicart provides a systematic account of how games can be designed to challenge and enrich our moral lives After discussing such topics as definition of ethical gameplay and the structure of the game as a designed object, Sicart offers a theory of the design of ethical game play He also analyzes the ethical aspects of game play in a number of current games, including Spec Ops The Line, Beautiful Escape Dungeoneer, Fallout New Vegas, and Anna Anthropy s Dys4Ia Games are designed to evoke specific emotions games that engage players ethically, Sicart argues, enable us to explore and express our values through play.
Beyond Choices The Design of Ethical Gameplay How computer games can be designed to create ethically relevant experiences for players Today s blockbuster video games and their never ending sequels sagas and reboots provide plenty of excitement

  • Title: Beyond Choices: The Design of Ethical Gameplay
  • Author: Miguel Sicart
  • ISBN: 9780262019781
  • Page: 334
  • Format: Hardcover
  • 1 thought on “Beyond Choices: The Design of Ethical Gameplay”

    1. 1) "The most fascinating of these characteristics is the informality of moral systems. Gert uses the analogy of pickup basketball games. All players are aware of the rules and act on them even though there is no formal refereeing. A legal system or a professional game of basketball requires judges to carry out a formal policing of the rules. But in a pickup game, as with morality, players enforce the rules. In moral systems, people, individually and collectively, support the ethical rules withou [...]

    2. Overall, I disliked the book, but it was interesting to see the wicked problem concept applied to games. You and I probably have a more ethical way to spend our money.+++ The notion of a wicked problem, explained in the context of games. Not innovative, as shown by prior work included in the reference list of this book, but useful.--- The thin, speculative theories. In the end, the author admits the proposed framework can fail, if used too obviously and without embedding into a broader game cont [...]

    3. I struggled with deciding why this was so painful to read and I think I've put my finger on it. Sicart has a tendency of spending paragraph upon paragraph trying to explain something in the most complicated, abstract way possible and then in the last sentence of a thought he manages to sum up his point in only a few words. It's a real shame, because it seems I may be struggling to grasp some interesting arguments because by the time he finally manages to sum up his point I am mentally exhausted. [...]

    4. Sicard reveals many fundamental paradoxes of (computer) games that are a stumble block for designers trying to make an artistic experience. The most important one is: Why would we act ethically in the safety zone of a game? Although I don't think his answer, playing with less safety, is completely satisfying, the book pinpoints this crux and shows about a dozen games that dance around it in different, enlightening, ways. To me, this is an important step towards making games a more important medi [...]

    5. I'd recommend it to anyone, though it is more an academic work geared toward people doing game studies or game design. If you're not in either of those two groups, you'll have to get around the style and language to get any enjoyment and knowledge out of it.

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