Morality can be a difficult concept to tackle, but the combination of creativity and interactivity in video games make them the ideal medium to explore the subject. But sometimes, implicitly or explicitly, video games really, really mess it up.

Whether it’s gameplay mechanics that encourage selfishness even in “good aligned” characters or moral systems that just outright encourage righteous murder, these are the worst moral lessons that video games have taught us.

Read more: What is the best video game morality system?

NB For maximum enjoyment, read with tongue firmly in cheek.

Nobody else matters but your character

In most video games, everything revolves around the…


Dead Space is dead — and some are worried singleplayer games in general could soon be following in its wake.

A recent announcement from Electronic Arts has thrown the gaming world into a tailspin: Visceral Games, the team behind the critically-acclaimed Dead Space series and Battlefield: Hardline, has been disbanded; its projects distributed to other development teams.

The gnashing and grinding of teeth at this announcement has only increased in volume after it was also explained that the unnamed Star Wars title that Visceral Games was working on is going to be “pivoted” — whatever that means — away from…


Cults in video games are kooky, crazy, violent and dangerous — but also sometimes right. Sure, they sometimes want to bring about the apocalypse through the raising of an evil god, or they might feel the need to kill literally everyone and merge them into a big ball of dead flesh.

But sometimes, just sometimes, they manage to achieve something amazing that wouldn’t have been possible if not for their cult-y ways. Here are just five of the strangest cults in video games that actually had pretty good ideas.

Read more: The history of cults in video games

1. Treeminders (Fallout 3)

The Treeminders


Cults: fearsome, strange, and fascinating. These zealots have been the subject of a hundred books, a thousand papers, tens of thousands of blog articles and news stories — and no small number of games over recent years.

Now, as a new AAA game is set to use a cult as the primary protagonist (Far Cry 5), we take a look back at cults in video games throughout the ages.

Let’s get weird.

The 1990s

The first well-known representation of a cult in a video game appeared in Earthbound (1994) with Happy Happyism; an obsessive, vaguely KKK-looking group who believed they could bring…


Everybody’s been burned by a AAA game that didn’t deliver at some point. But would it have been better to put away your wallet, head to the bargain bin and wait for a Steam sale instead? Are expensive video games really more fun, or is it just the result of hype and a bigger marketing budget?

Using data from Steam Spy, we have found the answer.

We’ve taken a look at over 300 games released in 2016 and we’re putting the ‘fun’ back into ‘fundamental statistical errors’. …


Years later, and your favourite Early Access game is still in beta. Release dates have been pushed back and pushed back, and you’re starting to wonder if it will ever reach a full release. What exactly went wrong?

Early Access is possibly one of the most dividing elements of modern gaming culture. It’s a Marmite product; you either love it, or you hate it. You get the chance to influence the design of the final game, but your new purchase may be stuck in beta limbo for the foreseeable future. Hell, you might not even get a full release at…


Witchers: mutants, outcasts, monster hunters. The magical elixirs they drink to drive back the terrors of the night are so powerful they would kill a normal person. Only their mutated biology gives them the metabolism required to withstand the toxins produced within the magical potions.

But, with a few tweaks to the recipes, even the average person can enjoy the benefits of these elixirs without horribly dying.

Steel yourself against the coming night with these Witcher-inspired cocktails — but remember to drink responsibly!

p.s. we’ve also made this into a handy infographic!

Swallow

Swallow accelerates healing in the mutated Witcher body…


Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. A Space Marine, an Eldar and an Ork all walk into a bar…

…and because this is the grimdark universe of the 41st millenium, there is no punchline to this setup.

The battle for supremacy in the greater Warhammer 40k universe has been raging for fictional eons. Mankind pushes against the frontier of the galaxy, the Orkz continue to maim, kill and burn wherever they appear, and the Eldar — well, they continue to be snooty bastards who should be shot just on principal.

Now, with the release of Dawn of War…


Ayyyyy lmao

The only thing that could truly improve the XCOM 2 experience is more. And more might be just what we’re going to get, if rumours are true.

XCOM: Enemy Within is easily one of my favourite expansion packs. Though, to be honest, any title that get an expansion that includes cyborgs that uppercut aliens into the stratosphere is going to be a good one in my books.

But it did so much more than that — no one-trick pony here. In an industry dominated by microtransactions and small DLCs, it really warmed my cockles to experience a true-to-God expansion pack…


For all the high-end graphics and vast, open worlds, the gaming industry still hasn’t got a handle on morality systems. Most of them stink at presenting real moral dilemmas, or adding anything tangible to the core gameplay.

Can we do better? Is there a light at the end of this tunnel?

Come with me, and I’ll take you through all the morality systems that exist today — and why they don’t really work. Come with me, and I’ll show you why the best morality system is more simple than you think…

Let’s get started:

5) The Karma Scale

Jack Medland-Slater

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