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"Ethics and Games Series: Detention" by Sherry Jones (July 8, 2018)

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This presentation was featured at the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) Games and Simulations Network live webcast on July. 8, 2018.

The live webcast video was recorded and made available on Youtube, as well as made available in this presentation.

Please feel free to watch the video while exploring the presentation.

See the entire Ethics and Games Series by Sherry Jones here:
https://sites.google.com/site/metagamebookclub/ethics-and-games

Published in: Education
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"Ethics and Games Series: Detention" by Sherry Jones (July 8, 2018)

  1. 1. Ethics & Games: Detention Sherry Jones | Philosophy & Game Studies | Twitter @autnes
  2. 2. About this Presentation This presentation was featured at the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) Games and Simulations Network live webcast on July. 8, 2018. The live webcast video was recorded and made available on Youtube, as well as made available in this presentation. Please feel free to watch the video while exploring the presentation.
  3. 3. Recorded Live Webcast
  4. 4. ⧞ What is Detention ?
  5. 5. Role-Playing Survival Horror Indie Game ❖ Detention (2017, 2018) is a first person role-playing survival horror indie game developed and published by Red Candle Games, and greenlit by Steam. ❖ Released on Playstation 4, MS Windows, MacOS, Linux, Nintendo Switch. ❖ Received numerous awards and recognition for its excellent narrative that is inspired by the history of Taiwan: ➢ "Famitsu Gold Award" No.1527, Famitsu, Japan, 2018 ➢ "Journey Award" IndieCade, USA, 2017 ➢ "Best Design" Taipei Game Show, Taiwan, 2017 ➢ "Best Narration" IndiePlay, China, 2017 ➢ "Best Narration Nominee" BIG Festival, Brazil, 2017 ➢ "Best Game Award Nominee" IndiePlay, China, 2016 ➢ "Best Audio Nominee" IndiePlay, China, 2016
  6. 6. Official Trailer
  7. 7. Game Story: Key Plot Points ❖ Wei Chung Ting (魏仲廷) wakes up in his high school, and notices that no one is present in school. ❖ Wei searches throughout the school and discovers Fang Ray Shin (方芮欣) sleeping on the stage of the school theater. Wei wakes Ray, and both of them attempt to leave the school. ❖ However, the river that flows in front of the school exhibited an unusual, blood-like color. Fearing that the river might be contaminated with toxic chemicals leaked from the local factory, Wei and Ray stay overnight in school in hope of leaving tomorrow. ❖ While in school, many supernatural occurrences disturb Wei and Ray.
  8. 8. Main Characters ❖ Wei Chung Ting (魏仲廷) is a student at Greenwood High School. He wakes up and discovers that the school is devoid of people. Wei acts as the player’s avatar. ❖ Fang Ray Shin (方芮欣) is a student at Greenwood High School. Wei finds Ray sleeping at the school’s theater stage. Wei wakes Ray to figure out why everyone is missing.
  9. 9. The Complex History Behind the Game (1 of 2) ❖ The story of Detention is set in Taiwan during the country’s dark history that began in 1947 (note: Taiwan is a democratic and independent country). ❖ In 1947, “February 28 Massacre” (aka 2.28 Massacre) occurred when anti-government uprisings against the Kuomingtang-led Republic of China (ROC) government resulted in the massacre of more than 10,000 citizens. ❖ In 1945, Kuomingtang (Nationalist Party of China) took over control of Taiwan from the Japanese government, who ruled Taiwan for 50 years. ❖ From 1945-1947, KMT arbitrarily seized private property and inflammed the ire of the citizens, causing the anti-government uprisings to follow on 2.28.
  10. 10. The Complex History Behind the Game (2 of 2) ❖ After the 2.28 massacre, the “White Terror” period (May 19, 1949 to July 15, 1987) began. Anti-intellectualism and anti-communist sentiments were the main characteristics of this period governed by martial law. ❖ During “White Terror,” the KMT imprisoned and executed intellectuals and social elites for fear that they will incite citizens to rebel. ❖ The KMT banned books that critiqued the KMT, sympathized with communism, or sympathized with China. ❖ The story of Detention is set in 1960s Taiwan during the “White Terror” period (1949-1987).
  11. 11. Game Situations and Themes ❖ Detention, as a role-playing horror survival game, tells the story of the Taiwanese history when the government suppressed its citizens with martial law. The game addresses mature themes with graphic horror that are more appropriate for players ages 18 years or older. ❖ Themes: Mass surveillance; suppressing speech; anti-intellectualism; anti-communism; banning of books; education as means of social control; government oppression; government corruption; informing the government/snitching on neighbors; unjust imprisonment; authoritarianism; martial law; rebellion; retribution; karma; guilt.
  12. 12. ⧞ Ethics of Moral Philosophy Relevant to the Game
  13. 13. Confucian Ethics ❖ Chinese philosopher Confucius (551–479 BC) is one of the key figures in the development of Chinese ethics. His works still influence and are ingrained in modern Chinese thinking and the thinking of most asian countries. ❖ Confucian ethics address the following questions: What is the nature and origin of morality? What is the nature of justice? What is the natural social hierarchy according to Dao and Tian? What is our relationship with the state? Why and how should citizens and leaders behave morally? What are the proper behaviors for engaging with others in society? ❖ In latter half of this presentation, I will apply some of the key concepts from Confucian ethics to analyze the morality of Fang Ray Shin (方芮欣) actions in Detention.
  14. 14. ⧞ Game Rhetoric: The Presence of Military History and Martial Law in Education
  15. 15. The List (1 of 15).
  16. 16. The List (2 of 15).
  17. 17. The List (3 of 15).
  18. 18. The List (4 of 15).
  19. 19. The List (5 of 15).
  20. 20. The List (6 of 15).
  21. 21. The List (7 of 15).
  22. 22. The List (8 of 15).
  23. 23. The List (9 of 15).
  24. 24. The List (10 of 15).
  25. 25. The List (11 of 15).
  26. 26. The List (12 of 15).
  27. 27. The List (13 of 15).
  28. 28. The List (14 of 15).
  29. 29. The List (15 of 15).
  30. 30. ⧞ Game Rhetoric: Following Moral Codes Is Important
  31. 31. Typhoon (1 of 40).
  32. 32. Typhoon (2 of 40).
  33. 33. Typhoon (3 of 40).
  34. 34. Typhoon (4 of 40).
  35. 35. Typhoon (5 of 40).
  36. 36. Typhoon (6 of 40).
  37. 37. Typhoon (7 of 40).
  38. 38. Typhoon (8 of 40).
  39. 39. Typhoon (9 of 40).
  40. 40. Typhoon (10 of 40).
  41. 41. Typhoon (11 of 40).
  42. 42. Typhoon (12 of 40).
  43. 43. Typhoon (13 of 40).
  44. 44. Typhoon (14 of 40).
  45. 45. Typhoon (15 of 40).
  46. 46. Typhoon (16 of 40).
  47. 47. Typhoon (17 of 40).
  48. 48. Typhoon (18 of 40).
  49. 49. Typhoon (19 of 40).
  50. 50. Typhoon (20 of 40).
  51. 51. Typhoon (21 of 40).
  52. 52. Typhoon (22 of 40).
  53. 53. Typhoon (23 of 40).
  54. 54. Typhoon (24 of 40).
  55. 55. Typhoon (25 of 40).
  56. 56. Typhoon (26 of 40).
  57. 57. Typhoon (27 of 40).
  58. 58. Typhoon (28 of 40).
  59. 59. Typhoon (29 of 40).
  60. 60. Typhoon (30 of 40).
  61. 61. Typhoon (31 of 40).
  62. 62. Typhoon (32 of 40).
  63. 63. Typhoon (33 of 40).
  64. 64. Typhoon (34 of 40).
  65. 65. Typhoon (35 of 40).
  66. 66. Typhoon (36 of 40).
  67. 67. Typhoon (37 of 40).
  68. 68. Typhoon (38 of 40).
  69. 69. Typhoon (39 of 40).
  70. 70. Typhoon (40 of 40).
  71. 71. ⧞ Game Rhetoric: Be an Ethical and Virtuous Person (Words Restated in the Auditorium)
  72. 72. Outside (1 of 45).
  73. 73. Outside (2 of 45).
  74. 74. Outside (3 of 45).
  75. 75. Outside (4 of 45).
  76. 76. Outside (5 of 45).
  77. 77. Outside (6 of 45).
  78. 78. Outside (7 of 45).
  79. 79. Outside (8 of 45).
  80. 80. Outside (9 of 45).
  81. 81. Outside (10 of 45).
  82. 82. Outside (11 of 45).
  83. 83. Outside (12 of 45).
  84. 84. Outside (13 of 45).
  85. 85. Outside (14 of 45).
  86. 86. Outside (15 of 45).
  87. 87. Outside (16 of 45).
  88. 88. Outside (17 of 45).
  89. 89. Outside (18 of 45).
  90. 90. Outside (19 of 45).
  91. 91. Outside (20 of 45).
  92. 92. Outside (21 of 45).
  93. 93. Outside (22 of 45).
  94. 94. Outside (23 of 45).
  95. 95. Outside (24 of 45).
  96. 96. Outside (25 of 45).
  97. 97. Outside (26 of 45).
  98. 98. Outside (27 of 45).
  99. 99. Outside (28 of 45).
  100. 100. Outside (29 of 45).
  101. 101. Outside (30 of 45).
  102. 102. Outside (31 of 45).
  103. 103. Outside (32 of 45).
  104. 104. Outside (33 of 45).
  105. 105. Outside (34 of 45).
  106. 106. Outside (35 of 45).
  107. 107. Outside (36 of 45).
  108. 108. Outside (37 of 45).
  109. 109. Outside (38 of 45).
  110. 110. Outside (39 of 45).
  111. 111. Outside (40 of 45).
  112. 112. Outside (41 of 45).
  113. 113. Outside (42 of 45).
  114. 114. Outside (43 of 45).
  115. 115. Outside (44 of 45).
  116. 116. Outside (45 of 45).
  117. 117. ⧞ Game Rhetoric: It Is Impossible To Escape (See Game Ending Section for Clues)
  118. 118. Return (1 of 34).
  119. 119. Return (2 of 34).
  120. 120. Return (3 of 34).
  121. 121. Return (4 of 34).
  122. 122. Return (5 of 34).
  123. 123. Return (6 of 34).
  124. 124. Return (7 of 34).
  125. 125. Return (8 of 34).
  126. 126. Return (9 of 34).
  127. 127. Return (10 of 34).
  128. 128. Return (11 of 34).
  129. 129. Return (12 of 34).
  130. 130. Return (13 of 34).
  131. 131. Return (14 of 34).
  132. 132. Return (15 of 34).
  133. 133. Return (16 of 34).
  134. 134. Return (17 of 34).
  135. 135. Return (18 of 34).
  136. 136. Return (19 of 34).
  137. 137. Return (20 of 34).
  138. 138. Return (21 of 34).
  139. 139. Return (22 of 34).
  140. 140. Return (23 of 34).
  141. 141. Return (24 of 34).
  142. 142. Return (25 of 34).
  143. 143. Return (26 of 34).
  144. 144. Return (27 of 34).
  145. 145. Return (28 of 34).
  146. 146. Return (29 of 34).
  147. 147. Return (30 of 34).
  148. 148. Return (31 of 34).
  149. 149. Return (32 of 34).
  150. 150. Return (33 of 34).
  151. 151. Return (34 of 34).
  152. 152. ⧞ Game Rhetoric: School is a Means of Social Control
  153. 153. School (1 of 34).
  154. 154. School (2 of 34).
  155. 155. School (3 of 34).
  156. 156. School (4 of 34).
  157. 157. School (5 of 34).
  158. 158. School (6 of 34).
  159. 159. School (7 of 34).
  160. 160. School (8 of 34).
  161. 161. School (9 of 34).
  162. 162. School (10 of 34).
  163. 163. School (11 of 34).
  164. 164. School (12 of 34).
  165. 165. School (13 of 34).
  166. 166. School (14 of 34).
  167. 167. School (15 of 34).
  168. 168. School (16 of 34).
  169. 169. School (17 of 34).
  170. 170. School (18 of 34).
  171. 171. School (19 of 34).
  172. 172. School (20 of 34).
  173. 173. School (21 of 34).
  174. 174. School (22 of 34).
  175. 175. School (23 of 34).
  176. 176. School (24 of 34).
  177. 177. School (25 of 34).
  178. 178. School (26 of 34).
  179. 179. School (27 of 34).
  180. 180. School (28 of 34).
  181. 181. School (29 of 34).
  182. 182. School (30 of 34).
  183. 183. School (31 of 34).
  184. 184. School (32 of 34).
  185. 185. School (33 of 34).
  186. 186. School (34 of 34).
  187. 187. ⧞ Game Rhetoric: One Cannot Escape from the Past
  188. 188. Horror World (1 of 28).
  189. 189. Horror World (2 of 28).
  190. 190. Horror World (3 of 28).
  191. 191. Horror World (4 of 28).
  192. 192. Horror World (5 of 28).
  193. 193. Horror World (6 of 28).
  194. 194. Horror World (7 of 28).
  195. 195. Horror World (8 of 28).
  196. 196. Horror World (9 of 28).
  197. 197. Horror World (10 of 28).
  198. 198. Horror World (11 of 28).
  199. 199. Horror World (12 of 28).
  200. 200. Horror World (13 of 28).
  201. 201. Horror World (14 of 28).
  202. 202. Horror World (15 of 28).
  203. 203. Horror World (16 of 28).
  204. 204. Horror World (17 of 28).
  205. 205. Horror World (18 of 28).
  206. 206. Horror World (19 of 28).
  207. 207. Horror World (20 of 28).
  208. 208. Horror World (21 of 28).
  209. 209. Horror World (22 of 28).
  210. 210. Horror World (23 of 28).
  211. 211. Horror World (24 of 28).
  212. 212. Horror World (25 of 28).
  213. 213. Horror World (26 of 28).
  214. 214. Horror World (27 of 28).
  215. 215. Horror World (28 of 28).
  216. 216. ⧞ SPOILER AHEAD! THE ENDING!
  217. 217. About the Ending (1 of 2) ❖ We find out that Ray had a romantic relationship with her school counselor, Chang Ming Hui (張明暉). Chang later ended the relationship when he was no longer offering counseling sessions to Ray. ❖ During the relationship, Chang was a member of an underground book club, and worked with the school teacher Yin Tsui Han (殷翠涵) to secretly smuggle banned books for the club. They maintained a list of all the smuggled books. Wei (the second main character) was one of the book club members. ❖ Ray mistakenly thought that Yin was in love with Chang. Out of jealousy, Ray decided to get Yin fired; she asked Wei for the book list, and gave the book list to instructor Bai Guo Fong, a military officer working at the high school.
  218. 218. About the Ending (2 of 2) ❖ The result of giving the book list to instructor Bai was the imprisonment and execution of the book club members; the school teacher Yin fled the country, the book club members were all imprisoned, and Chang (Ray’s ex-lover) was executed. ❖ Feeling immense guilt for contributing to the death of Chang, Ray killed herself by jumping off the school building. ❖ The experience of Detention is, then, the representation of the memories of Ray’s soul, which is stuck in the earthly realm for not being able to confront her reality; Ray relives the memories of her painful past over and over again, because she is unable to accept the guilt for her crime.
  219. 219. Applying Philosophy and Ethics of Confucius to Examine the Game, Detention
  220. 220. Review of Confucian Ethics ❖ Chinese philosopher Confucius (551–479 BC) is one of the key figures in the development of Chinese ethics. His works still influence and are ingrained in modern Chinese thinking and the thinking of most asian countries. ❖ Confucian ethics address the following questions: What is the nature and origin of morality? What is the nature of justice? What is the natural social hierarchy according to Dao and Tian? What is our relationship with the state? Why and how should citizens and leaders behave morally? What are the proper behaviors for engaging with others in society?
  221. 221. The Four Books and Five Classics (四書五經) ❖ Confucius is attributed as the author of The Four Books and Five Classics, which are recognized as some of the foundational texts of Confucian philosophy. Although the authorship of the 9 texts are questionable, the 9 texts present the entirety of Confucius’ philosophical enterprise. (Note: Later Confucian and Neo-Confucianist scholars challenge Confucius’ thinking) ❖ The 4 Books = 1. Great Learning (大學); 2. Doctrine of the Mean (中庸); 3. Analects (論語); 4. Mencius (孟子). ❖ The 5 Classics = 1. Classic of Poetry (詩經); 2. Book of Documents (書經); 3. Book of Rites (禮記); 4. I Ching (易經); 5. Spring and Autumn Annals (春秋).
  222. 222. The Analects (論語) on Social Relationships and Hierarchy (1 of 2) ❖ For the purpose of addressing the ethical issues in Detention, we will focus on discussing the proposed structure of social hierarchy, and the proposed roles of those in the hierarchy, as discussed in the Analects (論語). ❖ Confucius believes that a person’s worth is determined by the person’s actions. Therefore, he proposes Li (禮) or natural laws to define 5 social relationships and model how people should behave towards or submit to each other: 1. Subject to ruler. 2. Son to father. 3. Younger brother to older brother. 4) Wife to husband (woman to man). 5. Friend to friend.
  223. 223. The Analects (論語) on Social Relationships and Hierarchy (2 of 2) ❖ However, Confucius explains that the 5 social relationships can only exist by upholding certain virtues. For example: 1. Subject to ruler. (virtue: justice, loyalty, righteousness) 2. Son to father. (virtue: respect for elders, love for elders) 3. Younger brother to older brother. (virtues: order, respect for elders) 4) Wife to husband (woman to man). (virtue: follow gender roles) 5. Friend and friend. (virtue: fidelity, faithfulness) ❖ A hierarchy of duty also exists in the order of the 5 relationships. One’s duty to the state supersedes one’s duty to family, for example.
  224. 224. ⧞ Applying Confucian Ethics to Detention
  225. 225. Connection Between Confucian Ethics of Social Relationships and Detention (1 of 3) ❖ If we examine Fang Ray Shin’s (方芮欣) choice to report Chang to the government through the lens Confucian ethics, we could argue that Ray was trying to act ethically, but suffered for her actions due to the missing virtue of justice in the relationship between the KMT government and the Taiwanese citizens. ❖ Following the Confucian 5 social relationships, Ray should submit to the will of the government (subject to ruler) before submitting to Chang’s will (woman to man), if she were to behave ethically.
  226. 226. Connection Between Confucian Ethics of Social Relationships and Detention (2 of 3) ❖ Since the KMT government, during the White Terror period, was instituting martial law by using the military to suppress people’s will, the virtue of justice is missing in the relationship between the KMT and its people. ❖ According to Confucius, the virtue of justice is necessary for the social relationship between the subject and the ruler to function; the ruler must behave justly to his subjects, who then must respect and submit to the ruler’s will.
  227. 227. Connection Between Confucian Ethics of Social Relationships and Detention (3 of 3) ❖ IF the relationship between KMT and the citizens were a just one, then Ray would be behaving ethically by reporting Chang to the KMT, because she has a duty to submit to her government. ❖ HOWEVER, since the relationship between the KMT and the Taiwanese citizens is unjust, then Ray does not have the duty to submit to the will of the KMT by reporting Chang. ❖ By reporting Chang to the KMT, Ray has behaved unethically. Her sense of guilt comes from recognizing the injustice of her actions.
  228. 228. Presentation by: Sherry Jones Philosophy & Game Studies SME Lecturer, Rocky Mountain College of Art & Design ISTE Games and Simulations Network Leader http://about.me/sherryjones Twitter @autnes sherryjones.edtech@gmail.com

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