I find it odd that we don't have a discussion about the Karma Meter
systems you often see in video games. There have been many criticisms and discussions of such systems, and I'd like to know what tropers here think.
I personally think the best example I've seen of a Karma Meter
is The Suffering
. I haven't played the game, but from the information I've gathered, it handles morality much better than most games.
For one, you actually have three
options for an ending/path instead of the usual two. Instead of pure good or pure evil, you can also be neutral. A bit more simplistic than reality, but I think it's pretty much perfect in video game terms. It's a bit complex for a video game, but not to a degree that makes it harder to understand or plan around.
Also, unlike most games, you aren't punished for being evil. Video games are a medium of escape, and while nobody wants to be evil in real life, they might want to be evil in a game just for shits and giggles, and since nobody is really hurt, there shouldn't be any consequences, right? Well, that's not what game designers seem to think. In Fallout
games by Bethesda, for example, all the best options are available to good players, and the options for evil players are very
In The Suffering
, though, while there are both advantages and
disadvantages to being good, and the same is true for evil. If you're good, you can recover health more easily, but you can't berserk as much. Likewise, if you're evil, you can berserk more, but you can't recover health as quickly or easily. Being neutral makes you a Jack-of-All-Stats
. So, depending on how you want to play, you can choose the alignment that suits you better, and it's much more balanced and fun than games that restrict you to one alignment (usually good) if you want to do well.
What do you guys think are good examples of morality systems done right, if there are any? And what can be done to make morality systems better?