Trophies, typhon, and trolley problems: moral play and playing well in Prey
In this special issue we explore a third sense of well played from the perspective of ethics and videogames and what it means to “play well”, or for a game to have been “well played.” From successfully cheating, to winning at all costs, to playing casually, to being a good sport, playing well can seem to have different connotations. Considering an ethical sense of well played highlights issues about players and their values and who they are, or aspire to be as people.
The games we choose to “play well” could be seen to reflect on our character and integrity. For instance, could you be a bad person for playing ultra-violent videogames well, or should you be celebrated for your skills and abilities to lie and deceive your opponents in a game of Poker? This third sense of well played, encourages us to think about the contexts and virtues of trying to play well.
Staines, D., Scheiding, R., & Blasonato, M. (2022) Trophies, typhon, and trolley problems: moral play and playing well in Prey, Well Played, 11(1), 56–77. https://doi.org/10.1184/R1/20384340.v2.