Interpersonal Ethical Communication via Virtual Environment Influences




Nations, Will

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In search of a more narrative-embedded approach to communication between players of video games, this paper provides the details of a study in which players are tasked with learning about other players merely through interactions with third-party Non-Player Characters (NPC). Players progressed through one of two interactive stories, inputting or extracting ethical ideas from the characters. Three ethical questions derived from the Moral Foundations Theory questionnaire were tested. One performed considerably well while the other two failed to fall into the upper quartile of optimal results, but only by a relatively small amount. The data collected therefore indicated a core viability for narrative-embedded communications in video games to accurately translate ideas between players. The experiment demonstrated the potential for games in the future to rely on the digital representation of players’ personal ideologies to become a part of gameplay and player interactions.



Video games., Communication., Interactive storytelling., Ethics., Morality., Experimental research.