When one thinks of video games, many thoughts come to mind. Happiness, surprise, frustration, and many other emotions are evoked by video games.  One aspect of video games is often put on the back burner, morality. 

This blog is one that will look at morality in terms of how it affects us (the player) when playing a game as it relates to the decisions that we have to make sometimes within a game. It will also look at how the characters within the dichotomy of the game are portrayed, & how their personalities can change from the opening salvo until the final shot.

I personally, like many other gamers and games have not really given much thought to the idea of morality within a game.  This holds especially true when we think of the ever popular military shooter genre.  Be it a third-person or a first-person shooter. 

I'm sure many players can remember the No Russian level of COD' MW2.  This was the first time I can remember being affected by a game.  Some people are affected by a game, physically, emotionally, and a few have mental repercussions.  I digress! 

Back to the issue at hand, how the morality issue is presented within a video game.  I am going to address the morality issue that one is faced with multiple times within Spec Ops. 

When I got the game, I knew that the morality issue was one that I would face.  I was unsure as to how much or what extent they (Spec Ops) would address this issue.  After playing about ten chapters of the game, I can say that the morality issue is one that is addressed within the confines of the game.  It's done in a way that will make you think about the decision that you made; it will also make you look at other military shooters along the same way in a different wavelength. 

Your first encounter with the morality issue comes at the end of Ch. 7: The Battle.  The issue at hand is whether or not to save Gould.  From what we know Gould is the man who is a former CIA agent; he has done some not so nice things while in Dubai.  You can either save him or kill him.  One decision earns you "A Man of Action" distinction; the other earns "A Man of Patience" distinction.  The choice is yours.

Your next choice in morality comes in Ch. 9: The Road.  Unlike, the last action this one comes towards the beginning salvo of the chapter.  The choice here is whether to kill a civilian or soldier.  You have to choose one or the other.  The result is one of two distinctions: "Damned If You Do"; the other is "Damned If You Don't". 

Ch. 11: Alone is one that is minute in the overall view of the game.  The choice here is whether or not you should kill Riggs or let him live.  The distinction you earn here is "Friendly Fire", that's if you shoot.  If not, then you get the distinction of "Unfriendly Fire".

Ch. 12: The Rooftops has you working your way through Dubai from an aerial standpoint.  Nothing much to comment on here.  It does make you start to second guess yourself in a BIG way.  Chapters. 12 & 13 helps prepare you for a dramatic ending.  Here, in Ch. 13: Adams, you have another difficult decision, to shoot or not shoot the civilian, shooting them earns you the distinction of "A Line, Crossed".  While, meleeing them, you earn the "A Line, Held" distinction.

Ch. 14 & Ch. 15 really get you going.  The adrenaline definitely gets to pumping. 

SPOILER: The ending is one where you have to make a choice, Kill or Not to Kill. 

P.S. This game will make you rethink every military shooter you have played, & every military shooter that you are considering.  Any thoughts?