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inFAMOUS, Morality, and Why it's Sh*t

Last night I began to play...inFAMOUS. While finding it fun, after a couple hours with the game I began questioning what the point in playing further was.

Initially I took delight in harming civilians, only to realise they were not puppets but reacted in different ways: some cower, others run, and some stay and fight. At the outset, I killed everyone in my path indiscriminately, but soon I turned my attention towards the cowards. Those that cower and run deserve to die. This is an apocalyptic survival situation and the civilians who wish to fight for their lives should be able to do so, those that run and hide, seeking pity were my targets. This was Darwinism at its finest and I was God, eliminating those too weak to survive and allowing those that could adapt to flourish. However, this only amused me for so long.

I heard this game was about moral choice. Naturally I decided to test this system. I took the evil fork in the road early on, but soon found myself healing felled civilians. Why should I be pigeon holed into an evil stereotype of a villain? I am my own person. I thought, perhaps, on occasion I should use my powers for good, if I see fit. These people be just mere mortals, not my adversaries, perhaps they should be allowed to go on with their lives.

Later I was given the option of telling a man that his wife was dead, thereby reasoning with him, or killing him to gain access to a tunnel. I was far more sinister than the game could imagine though. I planned on breaking the news to the man, filling his heart with sorrow, only to violently kill him moments later. However, the game “rewarded” me with good karma and didn’t allow me to kill the character after I broke the news to the widower. -So much for next generation videogaming. Apparently this game is black or white, or red and blue as the case may be, and I may not walk in the grey.

My roommate was watching me, and having played the game previously, criticized my actions. Apparently, I should have known the game was polar and didn’t have a full spectrum of morals. Apparently every choice in life is either good or bad and cannot have mixed outcomes. I have been informed I can choose to walk my path as I see fit, but I will only stand to gain from my actions if I stand clearly on one side of the line.

I want to be morally ambiguous. I want to show compassion for some, while being far more menacing than the game allows to others. So here I am, wondering if it is worth it to continue on with a game that has failed its purpose as I saw it. Should I return the game to my roommate’s shelf? Or should I continue on? If I do so there is a choice I will have to make, do I want to play the game the black or white manner it is set up and reap the benefits of this polarized system, or should I play how I want to play, even if that means that I will not be benefiting and thus, may have a difficult road ahead of me as the difficulty ramps up as the game progresses?
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About Kyle MacGregor Burlesonone of us since 1:40 PM on 02.16.2009

I used to work here. Now I just hang around and make a mess.

PSN ID:cadtalfryn
Steam ID:cadtalfryn
Mii code:3967-7516-0229-0303


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