Etyka a gamedesign

A computer game like September 12th plays with these conventions in a way that illuminates the understanding of the ethics of game design. In this game, the player controls what seems to be a sniper crosshair that can scroll through a simulated Middle Eastern village where civilians and terrorists move freely. The player will try to shoot, most likely at a terrorist. Then there is a conscious break of the game rhetoric: it is not a sniper rifle but a missile launcher that the player is using. When the missiles hit the village, terrorists and civilians die. For each civilian dead, a group of other civilians will gather, mourn, and then transform into terrorists. The game has no end. By removing the winning condition and manipulating the ergodic of the simulation (the action that could lead to a conclusion of the game is actually punished by multiplying the enemies), September 12th makes a powerful ethical statement: the only way of surviving this game is not playing it . . . but not playing it means letting those simulated terrorists “live.” The Brechtian55 destruction of the convention and the illusion implies a strong ethical discourse, a discourse that limits the choices given to the player via a conscious manipulation of the game ergodics and the fact that games tend to have winning conditions, and need to be played to win. In September 12th there is no victory, and the most valid strategy is not playing.

The Ethics of Computer Games Miguel Sicart (2009)