New Polygon article on moral choices

#1 Edited by coakroach (2492 posts) -

http://www.polygon.com/2013/1/17/3886934/bioshock-infinite-will-fix-the-faults-of-its-predecessors-system-of

Posting this because a certain paragraph caught my attention

In a recent demo of the game, Polygon was shown how this system has evolved. Upon entering the city, protagonist Booker DeWitt wins a raffle, giving him the opportunity to throw a baseball at an interracial couple. The focus on ethics and morality becomes part of the narrative more than a function of the gameplay or a way of regularly gaining items.

I feel like the more I read this the more absurd it seems, why would anyone throw the baseball other than to be a dick on purpose?

Kinda worried that now this game will have the same be Jesus or be Hitler morality of the original Bioshock, instead of a more meaningful exploration of moral grey areas seen recently in The Walking Dead.

Thoughts?

#2 Posted by JasonR86 (9748 posts) -

That sounds like a dumb game.

#3 Posted by Demoskinos (15034 posts) -

@coakroach: I think what they are meaning is that the "moral choices" are just going to be something you do via game play it they aren't going to be moments that are held up on a pedestal to show you that you are actively making a choice. Your choices in how you react to the world will instead shape what happens. Or.... that is at least how I interpret what they are doing.

#4 Posted by Ravenlight (8040 posts) -

Raceball?

#5 Posted by The_Laughing_Man (13629 posts) -
@coakroach said:

http://www.polygon.com/2013/1/17/3886934/bioshock-infinite-will-fix-the-faults-of-its-predecessors-system-of

Posting this because a certain paragraph caught my attention

In a recent demo of the game, Polygon was shown how this system has evolved. Upon entering the city, protagonist Booker DeWitt wins a raffle, giving him the opportunity to throw a baseball at an interracial couple. The focus on ethics and morality becomes part of the narrative more than a function of the gameplay or a way of regularly gaining items.

I feel like the more I read this the more absurd it seems, why would anyone throw the baseball other than to be a dick on purpose?

Kinda worried that now this game will have the same be Jesus or be Hitler morality of the original Bioshock, instead of a more meaningful exploration of moral grey areas seen in recently in The Walking Dead.

Thoughts?

The point of the city is to keep out the "Invaders" Its a super group of people who hate ones who are different. So In the context it makes full sense. 
#6 Posted by DizzyMedal (400 posts) -

Are we throwing the baseball simply because they're interracial? Because I'm quite happy throwing a baseball at a non-interracial couple as well. Enjoying being a massive dick in games is not the same as racism, dear Bioshock.

#7 Posted by Wrighteous86 (3820 posts) -

I also think it's just the IMAGE of an interracial couple, otherwise that's a bit too extreme (read: cheesy), especially early on in the game.

#8 Posted by Dark (392 posts) -

Am I the only one who is getting less interested in BS:I the more I hear about it and the longer it takes to come out?

Online
#9 Posted by Kerned (1170 posts) -

@Dark: You are definitely not the only one.

#10 Edited by familyphotoshoot (654 posts) -

Can I throw the ball and miss?

Can I walk up to the interracial couple and punch each one of them in the face?

Can I pull out a gun and shoot the couple after winning?

Can I turn around and shove the ball down the throat of one of the racist people?

Can I pass the ball to someone else and let them do it instead?

Can I pretend to throw the ball but then drop it and walk away and leave everyone dumbfounded?

Can I say "Fuck you and your dumb racist raffle, let's play an actual game of baseball" instead?

If the game lets me choose from those kinds of options I'd be impressed with their implementation of "choices", but until then they're simplistic visual novel decisions with pretty HD graphics to give the illusion of something new and immersive.

#11 Posted by Vitor (2824 posts) -

@Ravenlight said:

Raceball?

I lol'd. Does that make me a bad person?

#12 Posted by bwheeeler (463 posts) -

THIS ONE EXAMPLE, MAN, LIKE, I DON'T KNOW, I AM PRETTY SKEPTICAL ABOUT THIS GAME NOW, I DON'T THINK IT'LL LIVE UP TO THE HYPE

#13 Edited by TheSouthernDandy (3908 posts) -

@Wrighteous86 said:

I also think it's just the IMAGE of an interracial couple, otherwise that's a bit too extreme (read: cheesy), especially early on in the game.

No i'm pretty sure it's a real couple from what I've heard they'll help you later on if you don't treat them like crap. It does sound like it could be cheesy but it all depends on the atmosphere and set up that surrounds it. I'm not gonna start worrying because of one example in an entire game. That's crazy talk.

#14 Posted by Lukeweizer (2716 posts) -

You're worried about Bioshock's limited moral choices? Isn't every game just be a good guy or a bad guy?

#15 Posted by coakroach (2492 posts) -

@Lukeweizer: Most are, but choosing factions in Fallout: New Vegas or some of the choices offered in a game like Tactics Ogre: LUCT explore morality as a more relative thing that I personally find to be more interesting.

I'm still cautiously optimistic about Bioshock Infinite, and this might just be poor framing of an example by Polygon, but I'd love for it to deliver on the player choice front in a way that's more mature than kick puppy/dont kick puppy.

#16 Posted by Nonused (217 posts) -

Is the implication that you'll be chased by the mob if you don't abide by their wishes, resulting in a more difficult piece of game play? Do they smile and let you go if you listen to them? I can't see the developers setting up an, "Hey, you can be the good guy or a racist asshole!" choice. That's simplistic in a way that doesn't jibe with the implication of racism, and no one would be stupid enough to implement it. Right?

#17 Edited by Wrighteous86 (3820 posts) -

@TheSouthernDandy said:

@Wrighteous86 said:

I also think it's just the IMAGE of an interracial couple, otherwise that's a bit too extreme (read: cheesy), especially early on in the game.

No i'm pretty sure it's a real couple from what I've heard they'll help you later on if you don't treat them like crap. It does sound like it could be cheesy but it all depends on the atmosphere and set up that surrounds it. I'm not gonna start worrying because of one example in an entire game. That's crazy talk.

Hey, I'll give Ken Levine the benefit of the doubt. I was just saying, having the player get the option of throwing a baseball at an actual interracial couple early on throws you headfirst into the extremes of Columbia instead of easing you into it (something the original Bioshock did pretty well). It sounds cheesy, but like you, I'll have to see it in context. I'm not one of those internet assholes that comes up with an opinion on a game as a whole because of one out-of-context example. Just giving my thoughts on this specific one.

If they help you later on though, it kind of defeats the message of that Polygon article. You're making moral decisions based on rewards, they're just less up front about it.

#18 Posted by _Chad (962 posts) -

So you think Brad will give this game 5 stars too?

#19 Posted by TheSouthernDandy (3908 posts) -

@Wrighteous86 said:

@TheSouthernDandy said:

@Wrighteous86 said:

I also think it's just the IMAGE of an interracial couple, otherwise that's a bit too extreme (read: cheesy), especially early on in the game.

No i'm pretty sure it's a real couple from what I've heard they'll help you later on if you don't treat them like crap. It does sound like it could be cheesy but it all depends on the atmosphere and set up that surrounds it. I'm not gonna start worrying because of one example in an entire game. That's crazy talk.

Hey, I'll give Ken Levine the benefit of the doubt. I was just saying, having the player get the option of throwing a baseball at an actual interracial couple early on throws you headfirst into the extremes of Columbia instead of easing you into it (something the original Bioshock did pretty well). It sounds cheesy, but like you, I'll have to see it in context. I'm not one of those internet assholes that comes up with an opinion on a game as a whole because of one out-of-context example. Just giving my thoughts on this specific one.

If they help you later on though, it kind of defeats the message of that Polygon article. You're making moral decisions based on rewards, they're just less up front about it.

Yeah for sure, the crazy talk comment wasn't directed at you, more in general. Yeah hopefully it's not too much of a 'do this, get this' system. I don't mind putting up with a certain amount of that, it's still a video game but it's when you can clearly see the rewards from each choice that it takes you out of the game. I've got a lot of faith in those guys though (admittedly bordering on fanboyish levels) so it would take a lot for me to worry about Infinite.

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