Decision theory based model of game morality

Tony Rosqvist

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    Abstract

    A novel method for assessing moral values in computer games is presented in this paper. The method is based on Decision Analysis. It is shown that the decision model presented conforms with the ethical principle of Rule Consequentialism. The model, termed Scale of Morality, can be implemented in strategy and role-playing computer games where, to date, the ethical valuation has been assessed mainly using informal heuristics. The Scale of Morality requires the player (human player, computer agent or game master) to pre-assign value scores to selected ethical criteria prior to gaming. During the game, players make moral choices by valuating each choice with respect to these criteria. The choice corresponding to the highest value score is the most ethical one. Even in the case where the ethical principle is the same for each player during the game, the ethical valuations may differ, as the information process can be asymmetric (e.g. one player acquires more information than another). The game dynamics will be much more complex if the ethical principle of each player is different. Furthermore, the computer agent can be equipped with an expanding information base, making the agent better in judging the consequences of choices. The method Scale of Morality can be a component of the game's Artificial Intelligence, or serve as a research tool for studying players' moral reasoning.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1-12
    JournalThe Computer Games Journal
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2017
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

    Fingerprint

    Morality
    Decision theory
    Ethical principles
    Computer games
    Gaming
    Artificial intelligence
    Moral reasoning
    Decision model
    Heuristics
    Decision analysis
    Dynamic games
    Consequentialism
    Moral values

    Keywords

    • game morality
    • computer agent
    • decision analysis
    • moral choice
    • moral dilemma

    Cite this

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    title = "Decision theory based model of game morality",
    abstract = "A novel method for assessing moral values in computer games is presented in this paper. The method is based on Decision Analysis. It is shown that the decision model presented conforms with the ethical principle of Rule Consequentialism. The model, termed Scale of Morality, can be implemented in strategy and role-playing computer games where, to date, the ethical valuation has been assessed mainly using informal heuristics. The Scale of Morality requires the player (human player, computer agent or game master) to pre-assign value scores to selected ethical criteria prior to gaming. During the game, players make moral choices by valuating each choice with respect to these criteria. The choice corresponding to the highest value score is the most ethical one. Even in the case where the ethical principle is the same for each player during the game, the ethical valuations may differ, as the information process can be asymmetric (e.g. one player acquires more information than another). The game dynamics will be much more complex if the ethical principle of each player is different. Furthermore, the computer agent can be equipped with an expanding information base, making the agent better in judging the consequences of choices. The method Scale of Morality can be a component of the game's Artificial Intelligence, or serve as a research tool for studying players' moral reasoning.",
    keywords = "game morality, computer agent, decision analysis, moral choice, moral dilemma",
    author = "Tony Rosqvist",
    year = "2017",
    doi = "10.1007/s40869-017-0049-0",
    language = "English",
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    journal = "The Computer Games Journal",
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    Decision theory based model of game morality. / Rosqvist, Tony.

    In: The Computer Games Journal, 2017, p. 1-12.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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    T1 - Decision theory based model of game morality

    AU - Rosqvist, Tony

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    N2 - A novel method for assessing moral values in computer games is presented in this paper. The method is based on Decision Analysis. It is shown that the decision model presented conforms with the ethical principle of Rule Consequentialism. The model, termed Scale of Morality, can be implemented in strategy and role-playing computer games where, to date, the ethical valuation has been assessed mainly using informal heuristics. The Scale of Morality requires the player (human player, computer agent or game master) to pre-assign value scores to selected ethical criteria prior to gaming. During the game, players make moral choices by valuating each choice with respect to these criteria. The choice corresponding to the highest value score is the most ethical one. Even in the case where the ethical principle is the same for each player during the game, the ethical valuations may differ, as the information process can be asymmetric (e.g. one player acquires more information than another). The game dynamics will be much more complex if the ethical principle of each player is different. Furthermore, the computer agent can be equipped with an expanding information base, making the agent better in judging the consequences of choices. The method Scale of Morality can be a component of the game's Artificial Intelligence, or serve as a research tool for studying players' moral reasoning.

    AB - A novel method for assessing moral values in computer games is presented in this paper. The method is based on Decision Analysis. It is shown that the decision model presented conforms with the ethical principle of Rule Consequentialism. The model, termed Scale of Morality, can be implemented in strategy and role-playing computer games where, to date, the ethical valuation has been assessed mainly using informal heuristics. The Scale of Morality requires the player (human player, computer agent or game master) to pre-assign value scores to selected ethical criteria prior to gaming. During the game, players make moral choices by valuating each choice with respect to these criteria. The choice corresponding to the highest value score is the most ethical one. Even in the case where the ethical principle is the same for each player during the game, the ethical valuations may differ, as the information process can be asymmetric (e.g. one player acquires more information than another). The game dynamics will be much more complex if the ethical principle of each player is different. Furthermore, the computer agent can be equipped with an expanding information base, making the agent better in judging the consequences of choices. The method Scale of Morality can be a component of the game's Artificial Intelligence, or serve as a research tool for studying players' moral reasoning.

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    KW - computer agent

    KW - decision analysis

    KW - moral choice

    KW - moral dilemma

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