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Has a game ever made you feel really morally uncomfortable?

Bumping off Little Sisters in BioShock? No problem. Being a sociopathic asshole in Liberty City? Love it. Carrying on like a cheap philandering slut in Fable 2? I didn't even use a condom!

As a relatively sane person, I've never had a problem keeping what is 'Real' and what is 'Not Real' separate in my head. Just because I enjoyed playing Manhunt doesn't mean that my moral code includes a by-line advocating the real-world use of plastic bags to violently asphyxiate shaven-headed men.

But for the first time ever, playing a game that flies in the face of my own personal ethics has made me feel... uncomfortable. The game? Monster Hunter Tri. Yes, the one with dinosaurs and dragons in it.

Admittedly it's not the sort of game that's going to cause red-faced spasms of rage from loathsome, self-appointed, self-important moral guardians and upstanding defenders of the children (I doubt even PETA would be that bothered), but something about it jabbed incessantly at my conscience and consequently impaired my enjoyment of the beast slaughtering.

My first 'hunt' involved going at a group of docile, lumbering herbivores with my moderately proportioned sword. There were two big ones and two little ones. A happy family. Just munching grass and minding their own business. The fight was pretty one-sided. I hacked at one of the 'grown-ups' until it fell over dead. The others ran off, now a single parent family. I actually felt guilty. I kept playing, but my heart wasn't really in it.

Despite Monster Hunter Tri being about killing pretend animals in a fantasy land, it conflicts with my vegetarian, be-nice-to-animals sensibilities so much that I'm not sure I want to keep playing it. Although I probably will because I like the idea of taking down a dragon the size of a Boeing. I'm sure I'll be fine just as long as there aren't lots of little doting baby dragons to witness the crime.

So that's my irrational but true moment in a game that made me feel all out-of-sorts and morally uncomfortable with myself. What about you guys? Have you ever encountered something in a game that has double-crossed your conscience - your moral fibre -  and made you take a long hard look at yourself in the mirror? A game that has made you think "Am I really happy to be doing this?" I'd like to know.

April 30, 2010

108 comments

  • TitanofRock21 - May 5, 2010 12:44 p.m.

    Hmmmmm I suppose on the deepest level of sub consciousness there may have been a twinge of guilt or two while harvesting little sisters....but it didn't stop me from harvesting every single one of their asses and becoming a near god in Bioshock....Muahahaha! and as for "no Russian" I happily mowed down every last innocent I could see.....especially the ones hiding, limping away, or begging for their lives.....with a kill lust like that perhaps I should legally change my name to Kratos. lol. But I do feel bad for them some times. But then I just tell myself its a game and reload.
  • SiftHead - May 4, 2010 3:31 p.m.

    Assassin's Creed 2 - the glyph puzzle that shows the elephant electrocution. It's ironic that I spent the entire game murderising hapless guards for fun and (in the first game) shoving beggars and lepers into scaffoldings, but an elephant being electrocuted? Woah no! reCaptcha: of couzens - very Italian. Use: 'I makka an oufer yo canna forgaet, my couzens!'
  • Octoboy - May 4, 2010 10:46 a.m.

    Definitely Shadow of the Colossus. Is has to be THE most touching game ever.
  • asspills - May 4, 2010 5:42 a.m.

    The Darkness I decided to kill some girl, because killing civies is the most fun thing to do in that game. So I Line up her head, pull out my guns, pull the trigger, and her blood fucking sprays all over the wall behind her, and her ragdoll realistically flies back, hits the wall and slides down it into a sitting position... Her blood coated the wall behind her, and theres a bloody hole in her forehead where her soft, pretty face used to be.... Poor girl.
  • IAmMercules - May 3, 2010 8:40 p.m.

    ya i believe im the only person EVER to feel bad for leaving a marine behind in the halo campaigns after telling him to get out of a warthog.
  • Clovin64 - May 3, 2010 6 p.m.

    I tried to make one of my friends feel guilty when he was playing Dynasty Warriors once. "You realize that all those thousands of soldiers youre carving through are human beings right? They are men with families they are trying to care of. They were dragged into the Chinese army by conscription. Look, youve just killed 1000 people. Thats 1000 fatherless families youve destroyed." It did'nt work. My friend is an insensitive asshole.
  • Dragonflame - May 3, 2010 4:45 p.m.

    Shadow of the Colossus, no doubt. Seeing those majestetic beasts fall and die was heartbreaking. Every single Colossus tore at my heart strings, except the last one, because there i was just so angry at having lost my horse that i kept thinking it was the Colossus fault. Oh and Bioware games have a way of making me feel uncomftable (Mass Effect 1, Virmire, enough said)
  • ScruffyTheJanitor - May 3, 2010 4:25 p.m.

    No, I have not, I like to kill things, sometimes women, children, kittens and puppies. It's a video game therefore not real and therefore does not call into question what few morals I already have, you bunch of hippies.
  • FatRat - May 3, 2010 11:45 a.m.

    This is the reason i never played Lost PLanet cus the plot is basicly humans go to alien world start killing its inhabitants and then get P,OED when they fight back
  • Gameguy151 - May 3, 2010 6:04 a.m.

    Say what you will, but...i get that feeling pretty much every time my and my girlfriend get stuck playing against each other in games like MW2...seesm very wrong to shoot the one you, y'know...
  • Ashkael - May 2, 2010 11:48 p.m.

    Honestly? God of War 3 made me feel pretty bad about what I was doing. *obvious spoilers* After killing Helios and realizing that every gods death would deliver that much more suffering to humanity, I actually began to question what Kratos was doing. Was it really worth it? Is sacrificing the entire world just to kill Zeus the right thing to do? Of course the answer eventually turned out to be an emphatic "yes," but I still had to stop and think about what was going on every time I killed another god.
  • The_Zanger - May 2, 2010 10:29 p.m.

    This might be weird, but I felt bad killing imps in Okami after the Moon Cave. Even though they're supposed to be evil, they were pretty human and kind of entertaining, and they were more scared of Orochi than I was.
  • lukel127 - May 2, 2010 9:08 p.m.

    In MW2 On my first playthrough I shot the people without thinking. Then the next time i saw little kids and people carrying the wounded away and getting shot. After that i just shot the police
  • ryacer - May 2, 2010 7:03 p.m.

    I sought out and destroyed every merchant in RE4. and i dont fell bad about it!
  • bluscorp - May 2, 2010 6:39 p.m.

    @Hungarian - it doesnt make me uncomfortable, because then id never play most games, there just the nearest ive got to it.
  • BearKiller - May 2, 2010 6:06 p.m.

    I felt so bad for nuking Megaton in Fallout 3 that I promised myself I'd never do it again. It is even more pitiful when you go to the bomb site and see Deputy Weld's head still talking. I don't feel bad for Moira because I can't stand her for some reason. Now I find myself in the situation where I have to bomb the Citadel to get Callahan's Magnum. It is gonna make me so sad because I know how much everyone will hate me afterwards...
  • Hungarian - May 2, 2010 3:14 p.m.

    You bunch of goddamn pussies, if killing makes you umcomfortable go play sponge bob then cause basically 98% of games have killing.
  • bluscorp - May 2, 2010 1:34 p.m.

    heavy rain when i did the wrong ending. and fallout 3, when i killed all the ghouls.
  • OmNomRomRearghNergh - May 2, 2010 9:30 a.m.

    Oblivion for me too :( I couldn't stand seeing the body lie lifelessly after it running around. This is coming from a vegetarian too.

Showing 1-20 of 108 comments

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