Like many social outcasts who don’t tend to jump to further social interaction when attempting to escape social interaction, I play almost exclusively solitarily. My introversion can be such a strong force that even in games that are renowned for their multiplayer I nearly always choose to play with or against computer players. As it just so happens, I’ve sunk hundreds of collective hours into Left 4 Dead, Empire: Total War, Civ 5, Sins of a Solar Empire, and Battlefield 2 and the times in which I connected those games to other human players most likely numbers under ten. To me, multiplayer options often feel unreliable and rigid, on top of being shoehorned into games that could have potentially been stronger single player experiences had the multiplayer development money gone into the main campaign. This, of course, directly opposes the opinions of most, as many games, I understand, are bought solely for their multiplayer, be it competitive or co-op. I know, though, that there are those, like myself, who are distant from this realm. Here, in as friendly a manner as I can muster, is a guide to creating multiplayer modes that even I would abandon my solitude to join.
This week, as we honor the past, look to the future, and operate in the present, I thought it appropriate to discuss the validity of moral systems in games. No, this post will not argue that games and the act of playing are inherently moral or immoral. Let’s instead look into games themselves, taking an in-depth view into developer intention and what can be changed to encourage stronger moral relevance in those games we love so much.