It’s not a question I have an answer to, but I am hoping someone can enlighten me.
You see, when I was growing up my bed time was filled with damsels in distress, Grimm’s fairy tales and all sort of other stories, which may have been a little horrific, sometimes even gruesome, but there was a moral at the end of the story.
The heroes of the stories always did good, sure they might have made some errors of judgment, but at worst they were bad, never evil.
Now WoW has been to date a relatively “clean” game. Sure you hack things to death, but even the “darkside”, the Horde were (generally) moral.
I have always had an issue with the preservers of nature, the Druids, slaughtering x number of innocent creatures for a pocketful of silver, but somehow I was able to turn a blind eye to this. Well except when my animal loving wife is standing behind me expressing her displeasure.
But now I am confronted with a new issue. I have heard people mention the moral dilemmas that WoLK places before them, having to make a choice between two unpleasant paths, but until this week I haven’t has to confront this myself.
So what changed?
1st up I was asked by a member of the Kirin Tor to torture a prisoner, because they had made an oath that prevented them doing it themselves.
Next a similar request from the 1st Death Knight I recall encountering in the game.
So now I am suffering from two reoccurring nightmares.
- my encounter with the Death Knight left me shaken and slightly stirred. He also had captured and was “questioning” a prisoner and needed a few little tasks done while he completed his job in isolation.
- the moral transference or suspension of morals in order to accomplish a task.
Why should I be asked to put aside my moral values in order to gain the full experience of a game?
Sure I could skip the quest, but why oh why have Blizzard included quests that require you to become anti-social and quite simply cruel?
Now I appreciate that a certain ex-president had a penchant for off shoring problems and turning a blind eye, hell so did a certain Australian ex-Prime Minister.
I also understand that when confronted by the representation of these unspeakable breaks in morality that the media (and I am including the game industry in that title) point out that they are just reflecting current societal values.
Yes, I know, The old “Is the media a reflection of society, or society a reflection of the media” arguement.
To my mind these things are just simply inexcusable. It reminds me of the old forum threads suggesting the government’s fears that WoW was a terrorist training tool.
I begin to wonder if the opposite isn’t true. That WoW is a tool of the government designed to shift our moral values to the extent that we can’t criticize a government for loose moral and human rights values, because after all, we choose to throw our morals out for the sake of 5g and 10 minutes of eye opening joy.
Gnomer and Out!
PS: on top of all the bad stuff they juxtapose stuff like this: