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Wednesday, June 11 • 12:00pm - 1:00pm
Start with the guts, go for the head: A Well-Played paper on The Walking Dead

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Start with the guts, go for the head: A Well-Played paper on The Walking Dead
Kenneth Rosenberg

This paper is meant to serve as a close reading of the dialog system in The Walking Dead (2012). Specifically, it explains how the developers grafted principles of good learning onto the ethical dilemmas written into the game’s narrative. By reviewing the literature on games and learning, media enjoyment, and moral judgment, it is shown that the game’s dialog system fosters reflective awareness of moral agency. The mechanics of the dialog system rely on moral intuitions for quick choices, but the branching-path narrative and episodic design encourage reflection and development of moral reasoning skills. This is explicated further in a series of examples. Then, this learning is analyzed in relation to more traditional teaching goals. The paper concludes with suggestions for future games in this vein, as well as applications for society.


Kenneth Rosenberg

Associate Instructor, Indiana University
I am interested in games which have mechanics that involve ethical decision-making, when and how players morally engage with narratives, and whether games can be used to teach reflective practice of moral agency.

Wednesday June 11, 2014 12:00pm - 1:00pm CDT
Festival Room

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