Now reading the title of this blog you may be thinking "oh no not this crap sh*t overdonestupidleaveitalonealready stuff again" but I implore you, bear with me for just a while and I shall try to put a different spin on a topic which I fear may have been investigated a fair few too many times (although you'll note that isn't stopping me). Tell you what, I'll keep it short, just for you, because I think you're (yes you) mega cool.
Coming up to Christmas a lot of us are stressed, those with jobs often find a hefty increase in work-load, those at school/uni have exams or like myself have to try and find a job (which many people will tell you can be more stressful than the actual job). Further you have to buy gifts for people, and let's face it, you have no idea what to get them so you leave it to the last minute along with everyone else which in turn creates a lot more stress especially a few days before the big day.
Times like this can bring up the issue of morality and many games try to emulate this system of good and bad, right and wrong, those pure in thought and those sunk in darkness. To name but a few of these games we have Fallout, Infamous and Fable. Now most people regard such systems as being rather unadorned, the situation for example coming across a lost puppy in your travels and being given the choice of whether you will sacrifice some of your precious rations and feed it (Karma +1, yay you!) or shrug the puppy off, even kicking it if it tries to follow you (Karma -1, you're a harsh soul).
The effects of your decisions are also often rather predictable and plain; lift your karma and yay you get blue lightning, people being nice to you (and often making you go out of your way to help them.. not so yay) and sometimes even going as far as getting your own personal halo (even though your not dead! :D) if you're a good enough boy or girl.
Little Timmy always was such a good boy...
If you err on the more frowned upon path then you'll get red lightning, people running or hiding from you (and sometimes trying to beat you up, it's debatable whether this is more annoying then them asking you for help really) and often devilish horns and/or a dark evil looking aura.
Little Timmy's brother on the other hand.. had a few issues
Right then, problem solved, all game morality systems are stark, predictable and kind of lame BUT AHA maybe not, I mean have YOU ever really examined them? Let us go back to the puppy example, now you could feed the puppy, and I bet that'd give you a very warm fuzzy feeling inside wouldn't it? Well I can't really blame you; I'd probably fall into the same camp, hell I'd probably take the thing with me unless it had foam spurting from its mouth. However this brings up the old "give a man a fish..." saying; you feed that puppy and s/he gets a single meal.. big whoop from the puppy's perspective but YOU get that warm feeling in your tummy and sleep happily in your shelter; if you ask me Mr./Miss./Mrs. good samaritan you are not the good person you like people to believe (Karma -5, yeah that's right, take that).
Now if you were to leave that puppy be then it would learn it's not going to get handouts, it would find food for itself. So long term, your doing a better job of looking after that puppy's well-being (Karma +2, you're a smart person [also the good road is always harder so only plus 2, but hang in there hero]).
I told you I'd keep this brief didn't I? I'm a man of my word therefore, concluding... Before the next time you get annoyed with the simplicity of morality systems maybe you should think, "hey is that really a good action?" Doing so will allow you to more efficiently navigate your next epic quest and do what YOU KNOW is right; because lets face it... it's good to be bad *lifts down black shades to give a wink*