New video games like “Star Wars: The Old Republic” or “BioWare” are part of a new genre changing how video gaming typically works by basing progress and development around the moral choices of the player.
Part of me really likes this. Students can see choices have long-term consequences, which is far better than the immediate gratification fostered by the “shoot ‘em up, live like a gansta” games. It’s interesting game developers have recognized the intrinsically moral nature of the human experience, which begs the question: which morality will move a game forward?
These games are a step in a better direction, and students are increasingly shaped by games, movies, and virtual interaction online. But it’s still substitute reality. Real life is lived offline and real moral decisions are made in real relationships with real people. Video games could never and should never replace moral training, and game designers can never replace parents who are far better for the moral training of students.