Tuesday, April 23, 2013

My issue with Grey and Grey morality Open World RPG.

I have long had an issue with Grey and Grey morality games.  I was always generally frustrated that there was no "right" side.  In Skyrim, the best people are a group of blood thirsty assassins, in Demon Souls, power is drawn from the death of others, and Mass Effect is profoundly complicated.

I just never liked them. Why couldn't anyone just be good?

Then I read this article here.  And it all made sense.

You see, I'm Catholic.  And, as a Catholic, I believe there is no evil.  Instead, there is an absence of good.  ((Much like how there is no cold, there is an absence of heat.))   

What does this have to do with Gray and Gray morality games?

Well, it turns a game into a cop out. 

It's declaring that there is nothing good in the world.

(See Kefka's "Why must you build when it will be destroyed" speech)

It's saying that no matter what anyone does, no matter where anyone goes, no matter what face they put in front of the world, they are lying and are more than likely to be either obviously or subconsciously dangerous and evil.

This is not only a world I don't WANT to live in, it is a world I CAN NOT live in.  I can NOT believe that there is no one or nothing purely good.

And that is all that Gray and Gray morality presents.  Nothing can be purely good.  Either you join the league of assassins or deliberately become a serial killer in order to save the world. 

Now, please note I'm not saying I want everything to be utterly black and white.  I understand we as humans are not perfect.    We as humans try to succeed, and we fail.  Our White Knight can have some Knight Templar Tendencies;

Justice League Superman:
Justice Lord Superman:
Despite what some people at DC think, the story of Superman is about how someone so powerful, someone who could rule the world if he wished, decides to live as a normal human and use what he can for the greater good. Justice Lord is what happens when that man snaps and decides lobotomizing every type of criminal is the greater good.  The end result?  A society without crime and living entirely in fear. A man who complains about his order and refuses to pay because of his dissatisfaction is dragged off to be dealt with by Justice Lord Superman. 

And we can acknowledge that heroes can be good people, but not perfect and with something to work on in the future. After all, a literary hero with no faults can  be a bit bland. Part of the journey of a hero is watching them struggle against outer and inner demons in order to succeed.  And why shouldn't a villain have a happy childhood with a pet?  It humanizes them and makes them a bit more interesting to read about too.  What happened to make them like this? 

But when we consider each side to be something where there is no good or evil.  Where a great evil must be committed to accomplish a good and good can not be done without a little evil on a side.  Where whomever we admire will always be secretly and profoundly corrupted. Where any plea for something good will find it squandered in garbage. Where any villain will be found to be doing the right thing all along.  Where death and violence are the only ways to solve any problems. 

That is where I can not go.  And now I know why.

1 comment:

  1. Maybe because they attempt to emulate how the real world really is, instead of the unrealistic world that many would prefer.