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To Kill or Not to Kill: The Moral and Dramatic Potential of Expendable Characters in Role-playing Video Game Narratives
University of Skövde, School of Informatics.
2016 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Killing in role-playing video games is often a prominent feature. Most of the times, the characters killed are nameless criminals or minions of the true antagonist and if the game wants the player to kill, the player will most probably kill. This research was conducted to see how a dynamic narrative could affect a player’s choice of whether or not to kill expendable adversaries when a choice was provided. Participants played an interactive narrative in two different versions, followed by interviews, to see how narrative consequences and mechanisms for moral disengagement affected the players’ choices. The results showed that the choice of whether or not to kill could be affected if the narrative is dynamic and the non-playable characters reflect upon the choices made. Future studies should be conducted to see how graphics and sound affect the choices, and to see if it might be the mere choice in itself that affects the players the most. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. , 42 p.
Keyword [en]
video games, violence, moral disengagement, expendable adversaries, game ethics, moral, consequences, moral justification
National Category
Media Studies
URN: urn:nbn:se:his:diva-12347OAI: diva2:934427
Subject / course
Media, Aesthetics and Narration
Educational program
Computer Game Development - Game Writing
Available from: 2016-06-15 Created: 2016-06-08 Last updated: 2016-06-15Bibliographically approved

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