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029 - Morality in Video Games

  • Broadcast in Video Games
Psychology of Video Games Podcast

Psychology of Video Games Podcast


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Moral choice in video games is a concept that has been with us for decades now. Many games feature points where you must decide how your character reacts to moral dilemmas or decide which of two evils is the lesser. And even games without much choice usually have characters that we pass moral judgment on when we decide if their actions are defensible or not. 

Media psychologists have studied those judgments and choices in the context of other types of media, and they're starting to look at them in the unique context of video games. What effects does the morality on display in games have on how we play games and how we enjoy them? How does our own morality come into play? Even if we're not making choices about our avatar's behavior in a game, does seeing him/her act in moral or immoral ways affect how much we're going to enjoy the game or what we're going to think of it once the credits roll? 

These are the kinds of questions I'll tackle with the aid of this episode's expert guest, Dr. Matthew Grizzard.