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Moral Choice in Interactive Fiction

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Talk at <a>Web Art Science Camp London 2010</a>

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Moral Choice in Interactive Fiction

  1. 1. Web Art Science Camp London 2010 in Interactive Fiction Moral Choice J. Nathan Matias
  2. 2. moral choice interactive fiction J. Nathan Matias Web Art Science Camp London 2010 in How can I and my students write essays about Electronic Literature?
  3. 3. moral choice interactive fiction J. Nathan Matias Web Art Science Camp London 2010 in How can I and my students write essays about Electronic Literature? with full respect for: World Literature Literary Form
  4. 4. moral choice interactive fiction J. Nathan Matias Web Art Science Camp London 2010 in What we look for in Literary Essays “Agamemnon” a case study
  5. 5. moral choice interactive fiction J. Nathan Matias Web Art Science Camp London 2010 in 1.Zeus gives good omens Chorus of citizens “Agamemnon” (Aeschylus)
  6. 6. moral choice interactive fiction J. Nathan Matias Web Art Science Camp London 2010 in 1.Zeus gives good omens 2.The ships are stuck Chorus of citizens “Agamemnon” (Aeschylus)
  7. 7. moral choice interactive fiction J. Nathan Matias Web Art Science Camp London 2010 in 1.Zeus gives good omens 2.The ships are stuck 3.A sacrifice is required Chorus of citizens “Agamemnon” (Aeschylus)
  8. 8. moral choice interactive fiction J. Nathan Matias Web Art Science Camp London 2010 in 1.Zeus gives good omens 2.The ships are stuck 3.A sacrifice is required 4.Agamemnon “put on the yoke of necessity” and sacrifices his daughter Chorus of citizens “Agamemnon” (Aeschylus)
  9. 9. moral choice interactive fiction J. Nathan Matias Web Art Science Camp London 2010 in 1. Zeus gives good omens 2. The ships are stuck 3. A sacrifice is required 4. Agamemnon “put on the yoke of necessity” and sacrifices his daughter Chorus of citizens “Agamemnon” (Aeschylus) what is necessity? who is responsible in a democracy? what are the merits of sacrifices? does the will of the gods bring sorrow? if innocent people are harmed in the cause of justice, is that okay? if your values and principles dictate violence, are you free of blame? how long can victors write the history? how much should we sacrifice family interests for the state?
  10. 10. moral choice interactive fiction J. Nathan Matias Web Art Science Camp London 2010 in 1. Zeus gives good omens 2. The ships are stuck 3. A sacrifice is required 4. Agamemnon “put on the yoke of necessity” and sacrifices his daughter Chorus of citizens “Agamemnon” (Aeschylus) Literary Essay
  11. 11. moral choice interactive fiction J. Nathan Matias Web Art Science Camp London 2010 in 1. Zeus gives good omens 2. The ships are stuck 3. A sacrifice is required 4. Agamemnon “put on the yoke of necessity” and sacrifices his daughter Chorus of citizens “Agamemnon” (Aeschylus) Literary Essay Words: “necessity”
  12. 12. moral choice interactive fiction J. Nathan Matias Web Art Science Camp London 2010 in 1. Zeus gives good omens 2. The ships are stuck 3. A sacrifice is required 4. Agamemnon “put on the yoke of necessity” and sacrifices his daughter Chorus of citizens “Agamemnon” (Aeschylus) Literary Essay Words: “necessity” Rhythm/Music sacrifice ritual
  13. 13. moral choice interactive fiction J. Nathan Matias Web Art Science Camp London 2010 in 1. Zeus gives good omens 2. The ships are stuck 3. A sacrifice is required 4. Agamemnon “put on the yoke of necessity” and sacrifices his daughter Chorus of citizens “Agamemnon” (Aeschylus) Literary Essay Words: “necessity” Rhythm/Music sacrifice ritual Characters
  14. 14. moral choice interactive fiction J. Nathan Matias Web Art Science Camp London 2010 in 1. Zeus gives good omens 2. The ships are stuck 3. A sacrifice is required 4. Agamemnon “put on the yoke of necessity” and sacrifices his daughter Chorus of citizens “Agamemnon” (Aeschylus) Literary Essay Words: “necessity” Rhythm/Music sacrifice ritual Characters •Iphegeneia’s pleading look
  15. 15. moral choice interactive fiction J. Nathan Matias Web Art Science Camp London 2010 in 1. Zeus gives good omens 2. The ships are stuck 3. A sacrifice is required 4. Agamemnon “put on the yoke of necessity” and sacrifices his daughter Chorus of citizens “Agamemnon” (Aeschylus) Literary Essay Words: “necessity” Rhythm/Music sacrifice ritual Characters •Iphegeneia’s pleading look •Agamemnon’s resolve
  16. 16. moral choice interactive fiction J. Nathan Matias Web Art Science Camp London 2010 in 1. Zeus gives good omens 2. The ships are stuck 3. A sacrifice is required 4. Agamemnon “put on the yoke of necessity” and sacrifices his daughter Chorus of citizens “Agamemnon” (Aeschylus) Literary Essay Words: “necessity” Rhythm/Music sacrifice ritual Characters •Iphegeneia’s pleading look •Agamemnon’s resolve •Citizen viewpoint
  17. 17. moral choice interactive fiction J. Nathan Matias Web Art Science Camp London 2010 in 1. Zeus gives good omens 2. The ships are stuck 3. A sacrifice is required 4. Agamemnon “put on the yoke of necessity” and sacrifices his daughter Chorus of citizens “Agamemnon” (Aeschylus) Literary Essay Words: “necessity” Rhythm/Music sacrifice ritual Characters •Iphegeneia’s pleading look •Agamemnon’s resolve •Citizen viewpoint Staging sacrifice re-enacted
  18. 18. moral choice interactive fiction J. Nathan Matias Web Art Science Camp London 2010 in 1. Zeus gives good omens 2. The ships are stuck 3. A sacrifice is required 4. Agamemnon “put on the yoke of necessity” and sacrifices his daughter Chorus of citizens “Agamemnon” (Aeschylus) Literary Essay Words: “necessity” Rhythm/Music sacrifice ritual Characters •Iphegeneia’s pleading look •Agamemnon’s resolve •Citizen viewpoint Staging sacrifice re-enacted Culture & Tradition Athenian Empire & Dionysian Festival
  19. 19. moral choice interactive fiction J. Nathan Matias Web Art Science Camp London 2010 in 1. Zeus gives good omens 2. The ships are stuck 3. A sacrifice is required 4. Agamemnon “put on the yoke of necessity” and sacrifices his daughter Chorus of citizens “Agamemnon” (Aeschylus) Literary Essay Words: “necessity” Rhythm/Music sacrifice ritual Characters •Iphegeneia’s pleading look •Agamemnon’s resolve •Citizen viewpoint Staging sacrifice re-enacted Culture & Tradition Athenian Empire & Dionysian Festival Scholarly traditions
  20. 20. moral choice interactive fiction J. Nathan Matias Web Art Science Camp London 2010 in 1. Zeus gives good omens 2. The ships are stuck 3. A sacrifice is required 4. Agamemnon “put on the yoke of necessity” and sacrifices his daughter Chorus of citizens “Agamemnon” (Aeschylus) apply insights to contemporary ethics (Nussbaum) re-stage to make a point (Anouihl) (Fugard) argue the value of technique (Oliver Taplin) identify good ideas & design (Bernstein) become more skilled at evaluating our own world assemble cultural history Literary Essay be inspired to understand through creativity (Wagner)
  21. 21. moral choice interactive fiction J. Nathan Matias Web Art Science Camp London 2010 in Athenian Innovations 3 characters stage machinery the trilogy onstage action the cliffhanger the NPC silence
  22. 22. moral choice interactive fiction J. Nathan Matias Web Art Science Camp London 2010 in Athenian Innovations 3 characters democracy with victims stage machinery the importance of public opinion in murder vs justice the trilogy generational ethics onstage re-enaction memory & public sympathies the cliffhanger problematising success the NPC human powerlessness toward gods and generals silence resentment & hypocrisy
  23. 23. moral choice interactive fiction J. Nathan Matias Web Art Science Camp London 2010 in Athenian Innovations 3 characters democracy with victims stage machinery the importance of public opinion in murder vs justice the trilogy generational ethics onstage re-enaction memory & public sympathies the cliffhanger problematising closure the NPC human powerlessness toward gods and generals silence unspoken resentment what they “represent” with literary form we don’t primarily examine we focus on what study reveals from what they present
  24. 24. moral choice interactive fiction J. Nathan Matias Web Art Science Camp London 2010 in Moral Choice in Electronic Literature
  25. 25. moral choice interactive fiction J. Nathan Matias Web Art Science Camp London 2010 in Moral Choice in Electronic Literature Literary Essays
  26. 26. moral choice interactive fiction J. Nathan Matias Web Art Science Camp London 2010 in Moral Choice in Electronic Literature Literary Essays Psychology
  27. 27. moral choice interactive fiction J. Nathan Matias Web Art Science Camp London 2010 in Moral Choice in Electronic Literature Literary Essays Psychology Design
  28. 28. moral choice interactive fiction J. Nathan Matias Web Art Science Camp London 2010 in Moral Choice in Electronic Literature Literary Essays Psychology Design ?
  29. 29. moral choice interactive fiction J. Nathan Matias Web Art Science Camp London 2010 in Moral Choice in Electronic Literature Literary Essays Psychology Design literary choice
  30. 30. moral choice interactive fiction J. Nathan Matias Web Art Science Camp London 2010 in Electronic Literature invites Reader Actions Could we analyse reader choice for insight on the stories themselves, and literature in general?
  31. 31. moral choice interactive fiction J. Nathan Matias Web Art Science Camp London 2010 in You are negotiating with a powerful but determined terrorist who is about to set off a bomb in a crowded area… To stop him, you must contact him...and, in front of the camera, break one of his son’s arms and threaten to break the other one if he does not give himself up.
  32. 32. moral choice interactive fiction J. Nathan Matias Web Art Science Camp London 2010 in You are negotiating with a powerful but determined terrorist who is about to set off a bomb in a crowded area… To stop him, you must contact him...and, in front of the camera, break one of his son’s arms and threaten to break the other one if he does not give himself up. Should you break the terrorist son’s arm? (Harvard Moral Sense Test)
  33. 33. moral choice interactive fiction J. Nathan Matias Web Art Science Camp London 2010 in
  34. 34. moral choice interactive fiction J. Nathan Matias Web Art Science Camp London 2010 in
  35. 35. moral choice interactive fiction J. Nathan Matias Web Art Science Camp London 2010 in You have always treated your pixie, Amalia, very well, and until today, you've never cut her wings [....]
  36. 36. moral choice interactive fiction J. Nathan Matias Web Art Science Camp London 2010 in You have always treated your pixie, Amalia, very well, and until today, you've never cut her wings [....]You approach the pixie. She cowers in fear, her hands held up to you in a begging motion.
  37. 37. moral choice interactive fiction J. Nathan Matias Web Art Science Camp London 2010 in You have always treated your pixie, Amalia, very well, and until today, you've never cut her wings [....]You approach the pixie. She cowers in fear, her hands held up to you in a begging motion. 1) "No, I cannot harm such an innocent creature!" 2) (Proceed) "I'm sorry pixie. I'll try to make amends to you when this whole crisis is over." 3) (Proceed in silence) >> _
  38. 38. moral choice interactive fiction J. Nathan Matias Web Art Science Camp London 2010 in You have always treated your pixie, Amalia, very well, and until today, you've never cut her wings [....]You approach the pixie. She cowers in fear, her hands held up to you in a begging motion. 1) "No, I cannot harm such an innocent creature!" 2) (Proceed) "I'm sorry pixie. I'll try to make amends to you when this whole crisis is over." 3) (Proceed in silence) >> _ (Gijsbers IN 52-55)
  39. 39. moral choice interactive fiction J. Nathan Matias Web Art Science Camp London 2010 in Literary choice is a single reader action forced by a text which has implied that this action wi! affect a situation narrated by the text.
  40. 40. moral choice interactive fiction J. Nathan Matias Web Art Science Camp London 2010 in Useful for psych, design & literary essays! Literary choice is a single reader action forced by a text which has implied that this action wi! affect a situation narrated by the text.
  41. 41. moral choice interactive fiction J. Nathan Matias Web Art Science Camp London 2010 in consequences implied the choice branching consequences
  42. 42. moral choice interactive fiction J. Nathan Matias Web Art Science Camp London 2010 in consequences implied the choice branching consequences Literary Choice
  43. 43. moral choice interactive fiction J. Nathan Matias Web Art Science Camp London 2010 in Rerun the Moral Sense Test Write Criticism of Electronic Literature An e-reader software package for testing literary response Future Directions

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