Ethics, morals and Dragon Age: Origins

I’ve been playing Dragon Age: Origins. I am not that far into it because I wanted to explore more of the six distinctly different starting zones. I opted to go with a human mage to do something different. I am having a great time with the game but I noticed something. My ethics and morals are bleeding into the game.

For example, Alistar in the above image is a member of my party. He is a fellow Grey Warden. He is “my” type of guy (sense of humor, made mistakes (he used to hunt mages!) so doesn’t judge others too harshly, doesn’t necessarily open up easily but when you talk to him, he’ll slowly let the walls down, loyal, etc.) so when I found out that there are love scenes in the game I decided he is the one my character will have the love scene with, and hopefully fall in love. Here is where my ethics kicked in:

Morrigan

Once I made up my mind that I wanted the Alistar pairing, I wanted to see who else I might have fits and giggles pairing my character with before starting up with Alistar because he is long-term. I don’t cheat…I mean my character doesn’t cheat. Allegedly, there is a possibility to have a threesome in the game. If my character does the threesome (because um, when will that happen again? A threesome in a RPG?) it again has to be before Alistar and not with Alistar. Notice the half-naked bitch to the left. She is a powerful mage so I need her but damn, put some clothes on around my man. My character’s man. Bitch. I don’t like her because allegedly Alistar will have to have sex with her (to procreate) to save the world or some shit. Yeah, I know, my character doesn’t know shit and I don’t like it but not enough to stop my character from pairing up with Alistar. My toon will be a powerful mage. Maybe I can change that storyline….

Or another example: As a mage we have to go through a test called the Harrowing. I passed but not all mages do. To be a mage there has to be a strong sense of right and wrong, not to use magic for bad purposes. Blood mages are bad in the game. A fellow mage confided in me that he was seeing an initiate – which is forbidden. He said he thought he was being denied the Harrowing because he was being made Tranquil – stripped of emotion and feeling. He wanted to destroy his vial of blood in the tower so that the process could not happen and he could not be tracked down when he escaped.

Liar

While the story unfolded I felt he was lying, even before the clues gently pointed in that direction. When the option came up to tell our superior what he was up to, I told but felt uncomfortable doing it, especially being asked to deceive him by helping him get his blood (I prefer confrontation over lies). I did as I was told (which is often what happens in business – you find out someone is screwing up but no matter how good of a friend that person is, the situation must be corrected) and he eventually revealed himself as being a blood mage. His girlfriend was devastated because she trusted him and was going to pay a heavy price for it (prison). I hoped his cowardly ass (he ran away and escaped) comes back up in the game so I can kill him. Or feed him to the darkspawn.

What’s so different about this game?

I looked forward to playing a Death Knight in World of Warcraft. I happily killed up innocents without giving it a second thought. In Dragon Age: Origins, I am careful and I match my choices with my own ethics. What is the difference?

The decisions I make in Dragon Age: Origins have consequences. Without knowing what they are, I tread lightly. If I play through the game again, knowing what happens, I will have more of a WoW play style. It won’t matter. People say they play wild and crazy to escape their life but I wonder if they make similar choices in real life, maybe without even realizing it?

I love that the game has choices. You can play good or more belligerent and smart mouthed. There is a guy who has already played through the entire game and uploaded it on YouTube. A very cool concept and a lot of work. I enjoy his commentary and watching him make choices that sometimes works and sometimes doesn’t. He sides with good choices. He opted to have his male warrior pair with Morrigan, by viewer request.

I guess, in the end, I am always one to be aware of how what I do today may impact me tomorrow. Sometimes I’ll care, sometimes I won’t but I’ll always be aware.