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„Ethics” in video game design or „Empty” calories

Ethics in video games

Sebastian Bik, Blogger

January 5, 2015

4 Min Read

I propose to display some kind of a warning label like they do on cigarette packs before video games starts.


It might read something like this:


„The video game you are about to experience is sugar coated clone of Wolfenstein 3D, clones of which you have probably played many times before. It has been done well like 20 years ago and we add zero novelty to it too. Nevertheless, you will feel like a total badass although in reality it will only take a few hours of your time in which you could do something to enrich your and other people lives. By the time you finish this game you will learn how to move the mouse and click it faster and others who resisted this will do something real and will be way ahead of you so in reality you will get less and less badass.


If you wish to waste your time and you are fully aware that this is purely entertainment please choose CONTINUE


If you would rather do something about your life instead please choose QUIT.”



Do we really have to wait for the government to require this kind of warning on our games?


Yup, politicians tend to keep heads in their asses for long but even they will soon realize what is going on here and will tax video games like they tax gambling. And they will make you display some kind of warning anyways so it will seem like they bring value to the society.


mom's logic


Take a look at the picture above. I don’t know who came up with this and it doesn’t matter. What matters is who I believe did this; and I believe it was one of fast-food corporations.


At first glance, it seems legit but it is directed towards kids. Isn’t the lowest low?


Now, try to keep on their diet for a month and see your ass getting fatter and fatter while owners of fast food who served this to you have fun with slim chicks who eat salads and drink water. And they do it on their big private jets for your money.


The same applies to music, movies, books or other entertainment. You may feel like Tony Stark for a couple of minutes after leaving cinema or really high when you listen to Top Gun soundtrack but in reality you are still the same guy. You just feel better while nothing real has changed in your life so you don’t deserve this feeling. This is what I call empty calories.


There are however productions like „Edge of Tomorrow”. In contrast to „Transformers” the former movie teaches you something of value that you can take away with you after the movie ends and apply it in your life.


Even with intangible products like a movie or video game you can leave real change in a person.


Let’s take a look at our video games now. Do we really want to be like fast-food corporations?



Then for starters, let’s display some kind of warning about addicting qualities of our products before game starts and let us be clean as a spring water even if we offer entertainment only.


If we aim for something more let us focus more on „Ethics” before we start designing our next games.

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