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Evil - how far should PE go?


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As for the other dude, suggesting I don't follow this game because of Fallout...

 

I'm not really a Fallout fan. I never even knew there was a child-killer rep. That screenie, if I'm honest, disgusts me. The cartoon is especially vile. The developer(s) concerned with that particular aspect of the game should be ashamed of themselves and have (hopefully) grown up since.

 

Those are my lines in the sand *shrugs*

 

What some random dude on the internet thinks about that bothers me not a jot.

 

Edit: while I'm thinking about it, hipster politically-correct game devs are on thin ice defending that Fallout image. It suggests a level of puerile misogyny that I think we all want to move on from. And I'm the most unlikely white knight you'll meet today. People who are offended by cleavage and chainmail bikinis associating themselves with images of a pregnant woman being kicked in her belly? FFS.

Edited by Monte Carlo

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I someone that enjoys good 'evil' options, murder, theft, betrayl, genocide etc.

 

But I don't see a reason for rape. You murder someone because they are in your way. You steal something because you want more wealth/power. You betray someone because you dislike said person, or you gain something from doing so. You commit genocide because either a) you hate a race, or b) your using it to gain power, or both.

 

What would you gain from rape in an rpg? A child would be the only possibility, and their are better ways to get that. People don't rape for power(political/land)/money, they do it because of uncontrolled lust or for a power trip(domination).  

 

I enjoyed being a cannibal in FO:NV going from town to town depopulating them. Eating the important NPC's wasn't intelligent, but it was very amusing and gave gameplay benefits.

 

Rape isn't intelligent 'evil', it is not amusing to me, nor would it give any gameplay benefits. So on that basis I don't see worth in it's inclusion. Now 'if' the writers want to include NPC arcs around the subject, that's a different matter.

 

Couldn't the same argument be applied to physical torture?  Which seems to happen in numerous amounts of RPGs.

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Being Childkiller in Fallout made you character pariah in eyes of world and (nearly) everyone wanted to kill you, which made games somewhat unplayable if you did such act.

 

 

http://fallout.wikia.com/wiki/Childkiller

 

And they did realized that that tomach kicking picture was too offensive

 

This image was unused and the only Vault Boy image to ever be cut from Fallout 2. (I'm sure you can figure out why) I remember when I got the request to do a perk illustration for "Child Killer" that there would be no way to keep in from being offensive. I mean really! How do you make an illustration of "child killer" and keep it from being offensive? Anyway for some reason, I thought this was the least offensive way to do it. I have no idea what I was thinking. Even the designer who requested it realized it was a bad idea, so we fixed it. Looking back on it now, I can't believe I drew this.

Brian Menze on The Vault

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If I was to put it shortest way possible, I don't see any difference (on moral/evil scale) between rape and torture.

 

So torturing a prisoner for information (for example) is the same as rape? There are so many shades of grey here that the discussion becomes circular, but I'm sure you see what I mean. So, yes, there is a world of difference. From the ****-Dastardly tying a damsel to a railway track in an old silent movie, twirling his moustache, through to Jack Bauer beating up terrorists, and everything inbetween... those are all different to me than rape. I can explain this to you but I can't understand it for you.

 

 

And I certainly don't see any difference in manslaughter by age.

 

I don't want to get personal, as you have been civil, but I can't help you here. Your own moral compass is for you to consider. But, even among the most hardened criminals, harming children holds a special status as wretched. Child-murderers have to be kept separate from the general prison population once incarcerated, lest they be shivved. A prison favourite is pouring boiling water and sugar on child murderers. In almost every culture there is a strong moral and ethical imperative to protect children, even among those outlawed. Of course, there have been slaughters and massacres throughout history when children have been slain: they are remembered because the practice is outlandish.

 

 

On the other hand, from a moral standpoint, I don't see much difference between torturing someone for fun and raping someone. (Although I think it goes without saying that it's completely unnecessary and quite distasteful to include such PC options in any game, ever.) Not to mention that rape can be a moral grey area, too: if you have a magical ability to make someone want you, does using it count as rape? If it does, is this kind of rape worse than torturing someone? What if the person using this ability has never asked for it, and even doesn't know that he's using it?

 

I've got to respectfully disagree. I never quite understood why is killing children any worse than, say, killing someone who's practically a saint. Is it the much-fetishized innocence thing which is sometimes totally bull****? (I think there is no need to lecture anybody how cruel children can be.) Or the fact that we don't know what kind of person they will become? (If so, would killing a child who is very likely to be a sadistic little **** as a grownup be okay?) Or just the fact that we've always been taught that child-killing is THE single worst thing that could ever be done by anyone, and never questioned it? (Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying "your moral compass is stupid and you shouldn't think that way", because you're the only expert on what kind of boundaries you personally have.)

Edited by aluminiumtrioxid
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"Lulz is not the highest aspiration of art and mankind, no matter what the Encyclopedia Dramatica says."

 

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I don't mind if quests involve meting out "justice" for some poor farmer's wife chr. who was molested/raped/tortured or whatever, putting those topics into the game in that more indirect fashion, but I have no desire to play a game that allows my own chr. to act those things out. Or more specifically, I definitely don't want to see it in a game anymore than I want to watch the no other purpose but to linger-watch "torture porn" horror films. 

 

And btw, the issue with killing children (particularly very young children) being so socially abhorrent is generally, I think, because most children are unable to defend themselves...or even be able to recognize a situation as a danger. Technically/rationally it may not be worse (child or adult, a life has been taken) but it feels worse because most of us can't imagine the kind of mind it takes to want to ever do such a thing...whereas we might at least sorta understand, if not condone, a passion killing, or political-hate motivated killing, or a greed killing etc.

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“Things are as they are. Looking out into the universe at night, we make no comparisons between right and wrong stars, nor between well and badly arranged constellations.” – Alan Watts
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No matter what option are in the game, no one is making you do them. You can play as a "good" character and be content. It's a flawed logic to yell, "I will not play the game because I can CHOSE to murder/rape children". You can do all those things in the real world, but you CHOSE not to do them and you are still playing that game.

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No matter what option are in the game, no one is making you do them. You can play as a "good" character and be content. It's a flawed logic to yell, "I will not play the game because I can CHOSE to murder/rape children". You can do all those things in the real world, but you CHOSE not to do them and you are still playing that game.

It's a valid point. I still don't want to see it being done by other chrs. Implying it via a line of dialogue is enough.

“Things are as they are. Looking out into the universe at night, we make no comparisons between right and wrong stars, nor between well and badly arranged constellations.” – Alan Watts
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No matter what option are in the game, no one is making you do them. You can play as a "good" character and be content. It's a flawed logic to yell, "I will not play the game because I can CHOSE to murder/rape children". You can do all those things in the real world, but you CHOSE not to do them and you are still playing that game.

 

Still, I have a very strong preference for spending developer budget and time on the inclusion of more constructive player options than "let's rape NPC #3699" (which would be literally almost anything else).

"Lulz is not the highest aspiration of art and mankind, no matter what the Encyclopedia Dramatica says."

 

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No matter what option are in the game, no one is making you do them. You can play as a "good" character and be content. It's a flawed logic to yell, "I will not play the game because I can CHOSE to murder/rape children". You can do all those things in the real world, but you CHOSE not to do them and you are still playing that game.

 

Such acts needs reactivity from the game, which means that writer resources need to be sacrificed to make them work and as I don't see that I would enjoy such choices and reactivity in the game, therefore I am against adding such thing in the game as those writing resources could and in my opinion should be spend to write such options that I would enjoy to use.

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It's a valid point. I still don't want to see it being done by other chrs. Implying it via a line of dialogue is enough.

 

Tbh, I don't think that is a good enough reason for it not being there. In today's world where the media is bombarding us with these kind of things, I doubt you haven't grown a thick skin about the issues.

 

Still, I have a very strong preference for spending developer budget and time on the inclusion of more constructive player options than "let's rape NPC #3699" (which would be literally almost anything else).
Such acts needs reactivity from the game, which means that writer resources need to be sacrificed to make them work and as I don't see that I would enjoy such choices and reactivity in the game, therefore I am against adding such thing in the game as those writing resources could and in my opinion should be spend to write such options that I would enjoy to use.

 

Now that is an entirely different matter. That goes more in to the realm of telling the developers what they should or shouldn't do. You wouldn't like those options, some twisted/curious people would (I don't mind them being there, but I simply wouldn't chose them (I find playing evil is boring and sometimes distasteful)), the game is not being made just for you.

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Tbh, I don't think that is a good enough reason for it not being there. In today's world where the media is bombarding us with these kind of things, I doubt you haven't grown a thick skin about the issues.

I wasn't stating it as a reason why it shouldn't be in a game. It was a statement of personal preference.

 

That said, if you want to go that direction, it's as good a "reason" as those who argue that they want it in the game because it's their personal preference to see "reality" represented as much as possible.

 

But the logical argument against, if/when they apply, probably would be the technical/time resources involved and whether the developer has those resources and/or whether the developer feels it's appropriate for the game they want to create...as well as whether they're trying to appeal more to a majority/mass market vs. a niche one.

“Things are as they are. Looking out into the universe at night, we make no comparisons between right and wrong stars, nor between well and badly arranged constellations.” – Alan Watts
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I wasn't stating it as a reason why it shouldn't be in a game. It was a statement of personal preference.

That said, if you want to go that direction, it's as good a "reason" as those who argue that they want it in the game because it's their personal preference to see "reality" represented as much as possible.

 

But the logical argument against, if/when they apply, probably would be the technical/time resources involved and whether the developer has those resources and/or whether the developer feels it's appropriate for the game they want to create...as well as whether they're trying to appeal more to a majority/mass market vs. a niche one.

 

This is already a niche market, mass market is call of duty/mass effect level. There are people who would pick those options and there is more of them then you think. To add on that, there are people who wouldn't pick those options but would like the game more for their inclusion. I mean for pete's sake, in bioshock the main character sold his infant daughter (not even the worst thing in the game) and the whole world loved the game.

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I wasn't stating it as a reason why it shouldn't be in a game. It was a statement of personal preference.

That said, if you want to go that direction, it's as good a "reason" as those who argue that they want it in the game because it's their personal preference to see "reality" represented as much as possible.

 

But the logical argument against, if/when they apply, probably would be the technical/time resources involved and whether the developer has those resources and/or whether the developer feels it's appropriate for the game they want to create...as well as whether they're trying to appeal more to a majority/mass market vs. a niche one.

 

This is already a niche market, mass market is call of duty/mass effect level. There are people who would pick those options and there is more of them then you think. To add on that, there are people who wouldn't pick those options but would like the game more for their inclusion. I mean for pete's sake, in bioshock the main character sold his infant daughter (not even the worst thing in the game) and the whole world loved the game.

 

 

There is difference in including thing in the story and make thing as player choice.

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There is difference in including thing in the story and make thing as player choice.

 

First choice in Bioshock Infinite, throw (or not) a ball at a mix-color couple tied with a rope on a stage in front of a mob.

Edited by Sarex
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I mean for pete's sake, in bioshock the main character sold his infant daughter (not even the worst thing in the game) and the whole world loved the game.

I think you're at least somewhat misinterpreting the thrust of my personal preferences.

“Things are as they are. Looking out into the universe at night, we make no comparisons between right and wrong stars, nor between well and badly arranged constellations.” – Alan Watts
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I think you're at least somewhat misinterpreting the thrust of my personal preferences.

 

But that is just it, everyone has a personal preference. The question is, would it really ruin the whole game for you (make you stop playing it) if you came to a choice that offers something that you find morally corrupt.

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I would prefer some subtlety in this regard. I think role playing games could do more with lies for example. In the real world we have countless numbers of ways to (mis-)represent information, so much that we count on a certain measure of it and sometimes cannot even distinguish lies and truth. Too often the game version is so blatant that it only misses a mustache twirl and evil laugh to go with it.

 

Even for more horrible things I would prefer subtlety. Being direct for shock value is good for underlining some point, but often people's reaction with something disagreeable is an outright rebuke. Even reading this thread you can see that different people have different preferences regarding this. While some might regard it as controversial, some are more comfortable discussing it.

PE has an opportunity I think in the fact that it can use an abundance of text, swaying the player's mind in a certain direction, providing detail when deemed appropriate and withholding it where better left to the player's imagination.

 

As for my personal preference, I would not like to see depraved acts in PE. A certain measure can liven the world, but I think that it at the same time distracts from more important parts of the story. Furthermore I think it would dull my senses to various other goings on, making them seem less important in comparison. Or on the other end of the scale it could make me feel accustomed to evil things and just ignore them entirely, at which point there'd be no more purpose to them. In both cases you end up with getting more and more ridiculously evil as you go along, trying to keep things relevant. Then you look back and notice you're a cartoon villain.

Besides, when I think of medieval fantasy, there's dragons, wizards and paladins appearing in my mind much before sacking, rape and murder.

 

And just a short quip on the options available to the player - in real life you can theoretically do anything, but you're not specifically presented with an option to do so.

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And just a short quip on the options available to the player - in real life you can theoretically do anything, but you're not specifically presented with an option to do so.

 

Because games and life are different things. XD

 

edit: Wait quip means joke? Did I whoosh?

Edited by Sarex
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But that is just it, everyone has a personal preference.

Of course. That's stating the obvious.

 

The question is, would it really ruin the whole game for you (make you stop playing it) if you came to a choice that offers something that you find morally corrupt.

Sure it could. Altho in most cases, it's not so much because of "morally corrupt" so much as I don't personally enjoy it, find it entertaining, enlightening, lesson-learned-inducing, humorous, or at all interesting in any way and thus if such a theme is too dominant, I would be bored into not playing.

 

While I'm no stranger to liking oddball stuff sometimes, and while I liked playing "evil is good" Dungeon Keeper, I like my evil-in-entertainment to be more humorously presented/over the top (Evil Dead 2), or "random element/suspense/sci-fi" oriented (Alien,Terminator), not realistic. If I want ultra realistic about how people can suck, I can watch the news or a documentary. eg, I don't play games to be depressed or watch a chr. beat a child to a bloody pulp. Personal preference, of course. ahem. :)

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“Things are as they are. Looking out into the universe at night, we make no comparisons between right and wrong stars, nor between well and badly arranged constellations.” – Alan Watts
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Sure it could. Altho in most cases, it's not so much because of "morally corrupt" so much as I don't personally enjoy it, find it entertaining, enlightening, lesson-learned-inducing, humorous, or at all interesting in any way and thus if such a theme is too dominant, I would be bored into not playing.

While I'm no stranger to liking oddball stuff sometimes, and while I liked playing "evil is good" Dungeon Keeper, I like my evil-in-entertainment to be more humorously presented/over the top (Evil Dead 2), or "random element/suspense/sci-fi" oriented (Alien,Terminator), not realistic. If I want ultra realistic about how people can suck, I can watch the news or a documentary. eg, I don't play games to be depressed or watch a chr. beat a child to a bloody pulp. Personal preference, of course. ahem. :)

 

I personally like the more gritty games and I like it when they deal with the morally hard questions, it makes them memorable. Though I have nothing against lighthearted and fun games, though I usually play and forget them.

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I personally like the more gritty games and I like it when they deal with the morally hard questions, it makes them memorable. Though I have nothing against lighthearted and fun games, though I usually play and forget them.

Yeah, I understand that. I do find the real-life study of criminal behavior interesting, from a more clinical psych. point of view, but for some reason it doesn't translate into gaming/entertainment media all that often for me. And at this point I've heard all the hard questions before ... it's no longer memorable. :)

“Things are as they are. Looking out into the universe at night, we make no comparisons between right and wrong stars, nor between well and badly arranged constellations.” – Alan Watts
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I'd like there to be more subtle uses too - lying and cheating, conning the farmer out of his land so your sponsor can build a car-park (or fantasy-world equivalent - maybe dig it up for the gold-mine he knows is under there)

 

I'd like in-world consistency though - if enemy-fireballs will roast civilians then mine should too - making the aforementioned moral choice between killing the innocents to get the bad-guys (and scoop up the magic-sword) or trying to protect the innocents but letting the bad guys get away with the 'sword of coolness'.

 

Being ebil with consequences is important (but the consequences should be balanced, making it a choice not a no-brainer)

 

Using a reputation system might be flawed though - Baldur's Gate had reputation going up/down too easily and was also universally known and not suitable for someone who wanted to play more subtle evil.

The 'Virtue' mod took separate account of known-reputation and moral-correctness of actions (so your party could know you to be evil, while the townsfolk thought you a hero).

I wonder if we could get something like this in P:E? (so you can be subtly evil / morally objectionable without the local guard running you out of town at a look)

 

Edit to add:
I'd prefer it if it weren't the PST style of lying where your dialogue choices are:
TRUTH: We'll take good care of your farm Mr Brown

LIE: We'll take good care of your farm Mr Brown

 

Where it's really stuck out there "This will get you good/lawful points and that will get you evil/chaotic points"

 

but rather I make the statement "We'll take good care of your farm Mr Brown" and then the game tracks a variable "FarmerBrownPromise (1)"

 - then I can decide later what to do with it - if I betray him or support him, the game (and reputation/whatever system) judges me then (and initiates appropriate consequences)

Edited by Silent Winter
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To be completely honest, I've never much cared for 'evil' alignment in games, because I've yet to play a game where the evil path hasn't been way over the top. Though I guess the same can be said of 'good' alignment too. Usually, when I try and play evil, I completely ignore most of the immoral dialogue in favor of appearing as a good guy, having my name chanted by orphans and maidens, and generally being a swell guy; at least, a swell guy up until the end of the game where I gib my party and ascend to Godhood and take over the world. So like previous posters have stated, I'd much prefer a bit of subtlety when it comes to being an evil mastermind rather than the 'I'm going to kick that puppy, set it on fire, and then hurl it at small children because I'm evil and my mother didn't hug me enough.'

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