Thu 23 Aug 2007
Moral dilemma #1 is, Do I skip work to play more BioShock ;)
I picked up a copy of the extremely well-received BioShock on Tuesday. Sadly, I’ve not had much time to play and have only cleared the second section/level (ie, Medical Pavilion). (Quick aside: Wow, did that sneaky “dentist” splicer make me jump off the sofa!) Many are touting it as the top contender for game of the year and discussing how it elevates the art form of games.
Part of that praise comes from the serious social commentary weaved within the story, and also how the Little Sisters present a moral choice to the player. That’s all fine and good, but most gamers (?) probably look to any such choice as purely a game system to be optimized: harvest option = 160 Adams, which means I can upgrade more plasmids, etc; rescue option = 80 Adams, but I get a gift of 200 Adams from Tannenbaum for every three sisters I save, plus extra tonics (oh, and there’s a 100 gamerscore Achievement if I rescue them all) - and so on.
So, while I can certainly appreciate (and enjoy) the dilemma from a story point of view (and my understanding is that there are different ends depending on which path you choose), very quickly it moves to a games-systems-optimization equation, if even subconsciously.
Anyway, was just a random thought. Hmm, I’m sure some smarter folks have written on this topic. Maybe Raph covered it in Theory of Fun? Also, seems like Ken Levine is saying lots of interesting stuff over at Shacknews, but I haven’t had the chance to read it yet…