In the actual game we found if we were nice to everybody, we got a halo and people were nice to us. If we were mean and killed people, we got devil horns and people screamed and ran away. That was pretty much it. As for the consequences of player actions, if you ate a bunch of pies you would get fat. That's essentially what the consequences system was, a glorified overeating simulator.
These days we have games like Infamous, which once again played up the state-of-the-art morality system in its pre-release hype. What we got was a series of laughably bipolar choices ("Will you save the bus full of children, or shove it into the vat of acid?") and only minor modifications to your powers as a reward either way.
Even GTA IV (aka The Most Expensive Game Ever Made), gave you the option to kill or spare the life of some victims. Sparing someone's life tended to have one of two outcomes:
1. You meet them later and they thank you
2. You meet them later and they try to kill you
Wait, a second! We're starting to think the whole morality thing is just a series of cheap gimmicks intended to make us play the same game a second time!
Seems Like a Good Idea Because...
The whole "morality system" is the newest fad in gaming for a reason: It sounds awesome. You get to make real choices, and deal with the consequences of them. It's like a different game every time you play! Now there's something books or novels will ever be able to do!
Eat that, novels!
Well, unless you count those cheesy Choose-Your-Own-Adventure books. And in reality, the morality system in most games is about as complex as those were. Maybe a little less.
Doesn't Work Because...
Real choices, the kind you get in real life where the consequences completely change the trajectory of every event that follows, will never be practical in video games. It costs enough to program a full-length game that will keep you entertained throughout. They're not going to program the equivalent of 10 or 20 games just to give you a whole bunch of branching paths that 90 percent of gamers will never see since they'll only play through once.
It's Sort of Like...
Having a girl ask, "Why do you think I'm not speaking to you?" and realizing your answer actually has no effect on whether or not a fight is about to ensue.
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