(A)morally Demanding Game? An Exploration of Moral Decision-Making in a Purpose-Made Video Game

Open Access Journal | ISSN: 2183-2439

Article | Open Access

(A)morally Demanding Game? An Exploration of Moral Decision-Making in a Purpose-Made Video Game


  • Sarah E. Hodge Department of Psychology, Bournemouth University, UK
  • Jacqui Taylor Department of Psychology, Bournemouth University, UK
  • John McAlaney Department of Psychology, Bournemouth University, UK


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Abstract:  A purpose-made video game was used to measure response time and moral alignment of in-game moral decisions, which were made by 115 undergraduate students. Overall, moral decisions took between 4–6 seconds and were mostly pro-social. Previous gameplay, in-game, and post-game experiences predicted in-game moral alignment. Real-life moral salience was not related to in-game decision-making. The implications of these results are discussed in the context of the demands of video games and in-game moral decision-making models.

Keywords:  decision-making; digital games; moral foundations theory; morality; purpose-made games; video games

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.17645/mac.v7i4.2294


© Sarah E. Hodge, Jacqui Taylor, John McAlaney. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.