A lot of people like to play the hero in games. If a game throws them a moral dilemma, a blatant choice between a right and a wrong, rather than judge the potential merits of each option and decide what would be most beneficial, they'll most likely just make the most ethical decision available to them. If the choice is between killing a person and not killing them, they don't kill them; equally, a lot of people will take the time to laboriously save a character from certain demise if that option is presented to them. It's nice to be nice after all.
Luckily for them, this philosophy tends to work to their advantage most of the time. Though the negative and positive options in a game are usually presented equally, most games tend to reward the player in the long run for playing it straight. Murdering someone in an Elder Scrolls game for example might get you some nifty loot, but you'll regret that decision once everyone openly hates you, refusing you information and declining your offers to barter.
Part of the problem is that the morality systems in video games can be a little weak: the options and their consequences are blatantly obvious, and playing the good guy is nearly always more worthwhile that playing the baddy. But that's not always the case. Sometimes, a game will come along and pose a question so difficult that it may as well be impossible to answer.
In these cases, there's no right and wrong answer, no winning or losing; it's just about making the best of a bad situation. These decisions will have you choosing between equal dismal choices, trying to ascertain the the lesser of two evils, deciding the fate of friends or even determining the fate of entire civilisations.
As a player, these decisions create an overhanging worry that you'll miss out on parts of the game, or that your decisions will cause irreversible damage that will affect the ending, or that you'll get your favourite characters unnecessarily maimed or killed.
Watch the video version of this article here or read article below...