Friday, February 1, 2013

Too Serious with RPGs: Exercises with moral dilemas


Code of Honor and Personal Ethics and Morals - From S08E04or06 I guess spelling out the priorities needs to be declared moving forward. Before assuming the GM has the same Idea of Honor, Ethics or Morals, its best to have one's "Character" beliefs spelled out and give examples of how the character will act under.
I did this for a Traveller game. What I did is I asked probing questions about how a character would act, and if this constituted

  • how the character defines "family"
  • what is family worth
  • what Ideal will they
  • definition of Human, or what is like them. 
  • how far does that apply. (i know mine is self serving - it is any being that can reciprocate kindness, compassion, and mercy; those capable of remorse; so i consider psychopaths inhuman. very self serving) 

Gravity of a Situation - A serious situation is measured using some cognitive and economic terms. I think that a serious matter is one where how many steps away we are from affecting the life of another person and how much power we have over another person.

In economics, game theory, and cognition there is the Tragedy of the Commons and the Free Rider Problem. A situation where personal responsibility is diffused/diminished by the amount of people who are part of the circumstance. in matters about Corruption, Economic Policy, Environment, and Rights and privileges the number of "players" make personal stake and influence on the matter a very ambiguous issue.

Every individual citizenry has less responsibility over matters over pollution, corruption, and economy. So if people die, get cheated, or seriously suffer because of a flawed system, the burden of responsibility is diffused but policy makers can be held directly responsible because they have the power to influence the matters. (why a policy maker should have a strong sense of responsibility -sigh- ideally).

When we have a direct influence, things get serious. What are the odds missing a call can harm someone? Serious matters are serious because of how they can lead to loss of life, suffering and pain. If I missed the call or dinner with a friend who I know is suicidal or will make a life ending decision and I have the power to change his mind, that is when things are serious.

Knowledge or Awareness - Gravity or Seriousness - and Ability to Influence outcome... revisiting my Theological and Philosophical studies, funny that it ties in with Economics and Cognition.

Moral Dilemmas - An exercise of digging deep, and figuring out internal architecture. I don't mind complications when it is subtleties of balancing my own sense of Ethics and personal code. I noticed the more "exercise" i get here, the better grasp I have about who I can potentially harm, I am able to simplify the complexities of my own personal beliefs, and I build a knowledge base of how I would approach future Dilemmas.

And if it is just like Exercise/Practice, it is near 90% the effectivity of the Real thing without the risk or harm. It is interesting that it is a matter that has no harm or risk, but it takes a personality or perspective to treat the problem seriously in order to Dig Deep and figure out answers.

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