Ethics in gamemaking

Rares

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Are people not allowed to have fun anymore? Have you even read what i posted? GTA got where it got because the devs deliver what fans expect them to.
Last version (0.1.5) of my now cancelled game:
http://www.stencyl.com/game/play/27241

Alexin

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Quote from: 1MrPaul1
If I will say to some teen that for success he will need to working hard, learn, to be a responsible person he will say that I'm boring that I'm talking like his grandpa but if I will say to him that he need to be a bandit, f//k everyone who moving, kill his enemies and leads free life without any obligations, live just for his pleasure, he will say that I'm right, I'm cool etc but this is not right.
Wow! That is so reductive.
"Find the fun"
alexin@stencyl.com

1MrPaul1

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I read everything careful.
Sorry for my bad english, probably I just can't explain so hard thoughts.
Really don't want to debate with you.
Just want to hear opinion of other developers about choose between moral and profit.
You think that we can make as many blood as users ask, ok, this is right, for you. I do not agree, but I'm not a god and can't judge somebody, I'm also can be wrong. 

Rares

  • Posts: 216
I think once you build a reputation, and meet the expectations of your fans (or even exceed them) in future releases, you will have great success.
Last version (0.1.5) of my now cancelled game:
http://www.stencyl.com/game/play/27241

1MrPaul1

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I think once you build a reputation, and meet the expectations of your fans (or even exceed them) in future releases, you will have great success.
agreed on 100%

Blob

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I respect your earnestness MrPaul, and to answer the original question I think it's never worth sacrificing your principles for profit as it'll either force you to recede from those principles or you'll be caught as a hypocrite, and there's always a reason we hold personal values to begin with. I think it's weird how excessive some games try to be with violence and how inhuman/unsexy virtually all sex in games is.

Though, being ethical with game development isn't the same as avoiding what're typically considered adult themes. An enriching "adult" game does more good for someone than a worthless "family-friendly" game. I also think you grossly overestimate the number of people who think killing is cool and learning is boring.

1MrPaul1

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You are saying everything right Blob,
We can't without adult themes because it is exist in real life, and how without a violence  in the game about the war  for example, this is normal probably, if we have good ways to guard children from this content.
I'm also just against unjustified violence where violence just for violence.

May be I little exaggerated when saying about all teens, not all of cause, some teens can be as an example for some adults.

HidetoKoudanshi

  • Posts: 112
More than ever, we are "bubble-fying" our youth from the realities of life. In ancient times, children of Sparta were sent for military training at the age of 7. They didn't raise/create a nation of psychopaths. In many, many cultures, young girls were betrothed as children to others and married off as early as 12 or 13. There aren't tales of mass suicides or mass "running away" of young married girls or Spartan boys from back then. There are many other examples of exposing young people to the rigours of adult life early on and the children weren't horribly, irreparably scarred from them.

The fact that we used to live those ways as a species doesn't mean those ideals were the best. However, fear of children finding out the world can be a harsh place isn't doing them or society any favours. The hard part, as MrPaul is pointing out, is defining the age and the depth of content suitable for that age where we show the raw realities of life without sugarcoating or hiding them.

I feel, MrPaul, you are a little too nanny-ish/nanny-stateish but I laud your purpose and point. There are things I should not have experienced at the age I did in the ways I did that marked me for life. I might've been better had it not happened as it did. However, I must advocate for children in the opposite sense for you, in that we shouldn't baby-proof the world if a child is mature enough to handle how it works, and we shouldn't tell a mature child she/he's not mature enough just because of how many years she/he is at her/his maximum growth so far.

I know I would've resented someone telling me at 17 that I wasn't mature enough to know how very bloody the real world could be. In a case like that, you'd have to deny me the right to see any television news shows or channels and only allow me to read the comics section of any paper, let alone not allow me to learn any history in school until I'm 18, as history is chock full of violence, some of it quite horrific and senseless.

I actually prefer the maturity rating system for games and allow parental involvement in the process; a Mature-rated game must have parental approval for purchase but once the parent agrees, the child may purchase the game. Do I believe all parents are thoughtful and take into account the child's actual maturity level instead of falling for some ridiculous scare tactic by "Think of the children!" loonies? No. However, I don't believe it is society's right or job to decide for a parent, what their child may experience, so we'll just have to hope the parents pick sensibly for their child.

TL;DR Please don't tell my (theoretical) child what they can or cannot experience, even in the world of gaming. When I finally have the little bugger(s), it should be up to me what I allow them access to, but I'd appreciate being warned about games that may be of a maturity level I don't yet feel my child(ren) is(are) ready for.
If I ever commission you for code work, please know that I understand how commissioning works. You must get paid first before you will code anything for me. Only once you are paid the agreed-upon price, will you begin coding for me. I respect artists and coders. You deserve to be paid for your hard efforts.

twotimingpete

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I grew up not being allowed to look at boobs. For some reason that was bad. I looked at them anyway. I don't think it had a negative effect. I think I have a good moral compass, I'm an honest person, I respect women. Boobs didn't jeopardize any of that.  If anything, the demonization of sexuality in general by my ultra conservative/religious family is the only thing that had a negative effect.

NobodyX

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Absolutely agree, twotimingpete. I think demonizing sex and sexuality and making it so taboo has tons and tons of negative consequences.

And I find it odd how people get more upset when entertainment makes violence seem disgusting and uncomfortable, than entertainment designed for kids has "good" guys beat up or murder bad guys and makes it all very comfortable and the audience is supposed to cheer for the "good" guys (like superheroes... and everything else basically). I don't think either should ever be censored or anything but if we're going off the idea that entertainment causes real world violence I would think it would make sense to target the stuff that makes it seem comfortable and tells you you'll be a hero, instead of the stuff that tells you it's disturbing and makes you a shitty person?

HidetoKoudanshi

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I think this argument also segues into the argument against in-app purchases for games. I've been told before and seen others say in other places, that we must code games a certain way so as to make sure we only provide users with an ethical experience that does not encourage extra expenditures for the gaming experience. People spend inordinate amounts of time discouraging and outright demonizing offering players "freemium options" where the game is free but game upgrades cost in-app purchases.

The concept, as I see it, seems to boil down to creators being told not to trust the average player to intelligently decide for themselves if they want to have to think about in-app purchases. It's the same with the "dirty content" issue here.

We're basically saying in both arguments, "You cannot be trusted to live the kind of lifestyle, through our games, that we feel you should have. We don't believe in sex, violence, or sometimes, in-app purchases. Because we don't believe in them, we can surely not include them in our games. However, we're highly perturbed that others might still include them in their games, so we need to put social/peer pressure on them so they will no longer want to include such playing dynamics. We'll make it so that you're not a Cool Kid if you include sex, violence, or in-app purchases, so you will feel shame for having coded them into any games you make. If being a Cool Kid isn't important enough to you, we'll demonize the whole concept of those playing dynamics so you're no longer just "not a Cool Kid" but now you're a sicko designer with megalomaniacal, selfish, and dangerous gaming ideals that could tear the very fabric of ethical human interaction."

I'm truly terrified of the nanny state gaming seems to get pushed towards. I'm not tin-hatting and saying it's truly happening right now, but to see so many advocates for it be so vocal about it... And I don't mean seeing many G/PG-rated games with no in-app purchases being submitted to online distribution sites/stores. I mean people outright running around telling others they shouldn't make games this way and saying why they're Bad People for doing so. I hope this doesn't become a trend. We don't need a Gaming Prohibition Days-type world. We just need adequate labelling of games so people know exactly what they're getting when they choose to download a game, whether paid, free, or freemium.
If I ever commission you for code work, please know that I understand how commissioning works. You must get paid first before you will code anything for me. Only once you are paid the agreed-upon price, will you begin coding for me. I respect artists and coders. You deserve to be paid for your hard efforts.

NobodyX

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The thing with in-app purchases, although they're not inherently bad, is that they're very often used in the most manipulative ways possible. Businesses exist to make as much money as possible and so many game companies are NOT trying to make the most enjoyable game possible and provide extra purchasing options for those who appreciate the value they've been getting from the game, what they do is design a from the ground up to be as addicting and anxiety-inducing as possible and then create purchasing options designed as bandaids for the negative feelings the game creates. Doesn't mean every time in-app purchases are used it's manipulative, but it's definitely used as an effective vehicle for manipulative behaviour a lot of the time.

irock

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Businesses exist to make as much money as possible
That's generalizing. Businesses aren't inherently going to always take money over the well-being of their customers. See: Thekla Inc, developing The Witness, headed by Jonathan Blow (the most moral man on the planet).

NobodyX

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Yeah I was generalizing.

Blob

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Hideto, I wish you wouldn't boil people's perspective on right and wrong in game development down to 'Nanny-state gaming'. Saying that people have a right to choose therefore you're justified in giving people any choices they want is wholly a fallacy. I think people should have the right to take any drug they want, that doesn't mean that I think it's right for them to take heinous drugs and I'm certainly not justified in offering them to people. I entrust people to be able to think however they want and they have the option of being bigots, racists, and sexists, that doesn't mean I think those are okay things to be.

In parallel, people have the right to spend their time and money however they please, that doesn't mean it's morally justified to make products that prey on people's lapses in judgement in order to generate as much time and money from them as possible.

The problem with 'freemium' games is not that they're inherently immoral, but that they're inherently broken. Free to Play games are not self-contained, which means you can't simply focus on making the best game possible, you have to design the game's structure around incentivizing players to spend money, and as a result compensate whatever vision you might have to fit that. While Free to Play games aren't inherently immoral, they are the easiest means to exploit players currently, and as a result they are often used maliciously.

EDIT: Moreover, you're making a strawman that people who don't like IAPs are saying they should be illegal. In reality, nobody who plays or makes games wants them to be regulated by the government, they know the government doesn't know the first thing about games and only bad things would come of it. It's entirely projection on your part when you talk about a world where games are under prohibition, and people are withheld from making decisions.

« Last Edit: June 22, 2014, 06:01:14 pm by Blob »