Morals in games
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By SalamanderAnder (DayZ)
The term “morality” can be used either
descriptively, to refer to some codes of conduct put forward by a society or,
some other group, such as a religion, or
accepted by an individual for her own behavior or
[*]normatively, to refer to a code of conduct that, given specified conditions, would be put forward by all rational persons.
I've seen users on this forum beat the same dead fucking horse for over a year. Our suggestion section, and especially this section of the forum, are completely overrun with posts complaining about the Kill on Sight "problem." A common suggestion that I see on almost a daily basis is to make lone wolf players or bandits "go insane" and see hallucinations, lose control of their mouse and keyboard, or talk to themselves, or any other trash they can think of. I've EVEN seen players suggest that there should be moral ramifications for killing non-agro zombies.
These suggestions are all rooted in one rule: morality. Now, in our every day reality, we have to follow rules. We have to be "moral" citizens, because (most of us) live in a large, populated society with easy access to food and medicine. Our society imposes laws based on ethics. I think most people like to believe that there is some sort of "universal ethos" that governs us all. These people would contend that actions like killing, or stealing, are inherently wrong, regardless of the presence of society.
Well guess what moaners - there isn't. How can I say this so certainly? Because human beings are NOT automatically punished for doing amoral things. This alone proves that morality is a social construct. Consider a hypothetical situation where there are only two men. Only two. One day, one of the men kills the other. The reason is unimportant, because the fact remains that nobody, and nothing, can punish that killer for what he has done. "God" isn't going to strike him down with lightning. He isn't going to suddenly "lose his mind" and start talking to himself and running around uncontrollably. In fact, there's a good chance that he may not even feel bad about what he did.
Now consider the same situation, but instead of two men, there are three. Suddenly, one can't just kill another (even if he wants to), because the third party will witness his actions - and consequences may ensue.
Therefore, morality is the equivalent of human beings avoiding the consequences of actions that other humans would not like.
And this is where DayZ comes into the picture. DayZ aims to do pretty much one thing, and that is to place us in a harsh environment that is not governed by the same laws and ethics that we live by in the real world.
Now lets consider those definitions I posted.
The first is indicative of the little pussies who get killed a lot and whine about it. They play according to descriptive moral codes that do not actually exist and are not enforced by the game, yet they want everyone else to do the same, so they continually propagate their idiotic ideas on the forum.
"Normative" morality is truly the ONLY morality that can exist in DayZ.
"a code of conduct that, given specified conditions, would be put forward by all rational persons."
The apocalypse is the specified condition. We are the rational persons. Therefore, we put forward a very simple code of conduct: neutralize any threat to our own existence. This is the only moral action we can take, since any rational being would do the exact same thing. When we encounter another player in DayZ, a very simple piece of arithmetic takes place. Only a few things can actually happen.
1: he kills me for my stuff. And he lives. Pretty problematic for my character.
2: I kill him for his stuff. And I live. Problematic for his character.
3: We team up and shit rainbows together.
According to the NOOBS, 3 is the only moral option. HOWEVER, it's a little problematic, since it only works if both players are observing the same moral code. The one who disobeys morality first is instantly the winner, since that person gets to keep all the loot.
Players who want "KoS" to be punished by in-game mechanics are simply asking the for impossible - for a computer program to determine the difference between right and wrong. It simply can't be done. Only a real human being could successfully analyze the context of a situation, and even then it's pretty ambiguous.
I know what some of you might be thinking right about now. "This guy just wants to watch the world burn, ect, ect." JUST to clarify - I do think teamwork should have incentives. I just don't think that doling out punishment to particular players or play styles is the right way to go. Remember people, this is the apocalypse we're trying to simulate. Real human conflict is the only thing that makes the game as compelling as it is.
By Dr. Goner
So, let the onslaught of "who gives a $%&!" replies begin...
I have returned to DayZ. Even with the prevalence of low brow moronic phrases like U Mad Bro and Derp, DayZ has a great group of players.
The "U MAD BRO" crowd may be a sign of the apocalypse and the first step backward in human evolution, but they make up a small portion of the dayz commmunity.
I made a post a week ago that I was leaving dayz because I had been screwed over by some fifteen year old kid. Well, in private messages, forum members reached out to me encouraging me to fight on. So, I'm back on my home server. I had made friends there, I missed those guys. They're good hard working adults just like me and we're only looking for a little escape. It's great to be back.
I am limiting my play time extensively and honestly it has been really nice to get away from the computer and do some real world stuff.
I still play the hero because it's the toughest way to play the game and the most challenging gaming experience I've had. All you bandits go back to kiddie camp. You know nothing of elite gaming. The first day I logged back on and retrieved a chopper. I got shot at while performing an evacuation with medical support. I had to laugh. After all, now I know it's not my chopper, it's dayz's chopper. The guy I saved was extremely thankful and apologized because I'd been shot at while picking him up. No problem, I said, another friend gained.
The kid who screwed me over is now hated by the entire server as he has screwed every "regular" over in one way or another at this point. He can't help himself. In fact, it was a day or two after I came back that his entire crew fell apart and most of his group left the server. I wonder if undercover saboteurs had anything to do with it... :P
Anyway, I did do a lot of research on morality in gaming. If you're interested there is a ton of information out there. It seems that most researches find, in controlled lab experiments, that a players controlled actions of an avatar DO in fact point to real aspects of that players personality. It's kinda scary, if its true, how most of us are keeping our demons in check.
Thanks to everyone who helped me get back in the saddle and extra special thanks to those who dropped by the server to help decimate a clan of fifteen year old bandits.