The Moral of the Story: Ideology at Play in Bioware Games Cover Image

The Moral of the Story: Ideology at Play in Bioware Games
The Moral of the Story: Ideology at Play in Bioware Games

Author(s): Nizar Zouidi
Subject(s): Visual Arts, Ethics / Practical Philosophy, Evaluation research, ICT Information and Communications Technologies
Published by: Uniwersytet Adama Mickiewicza
Keywords: videogames; ideology; bioware; literary experience; playing experience;

Summary/Abstract: Bioware games are known for their emphasis on the story and the characters. Bioware not only makes the game narrative uniquely appealing, but also it creates an interestingly dynamic world that responds to every move by the player. The playable characters are not fixed. They develop in the course of the game. They are not the only ones that change. Other characters in the game also develop through the choices of the game protagonist. They have background stories that are revealed to the player as the protagonist earns their respect and trust. The protagonist may change them. The actions of the player, therefore, matter to every element of the game. This is why the developers have introduced moral choices. The player now has to face the consequences of their decisions. The game narrative takes a different direction every time the player chooses a course of action. Bioware makes you assume moral responsibility for your fictitious decisions. The player becomes a moral being. Nevertheless, s/he is bound by the automated game system which limits his/her actions. Operating within an automaton, the players lose the freedom of action that is further reduced by the nature of the moral system within which they operate. This paper argues that in Bioware games, a pragmatic system based on exchange reigns. The players become part of the automatic processes of the game. Their actions are measurable, predictable and controllable. This reduces action to labor and dehumanizes the playing and literary experience.

  • Issue Year: 3/2017
  • Issue No: 1
  • Page Range: 93-107
  • Page Count: 15
  • Language: English