|Designing Morally Difficult Characters, Responsibly
|Track / Format:
|Game Narrative Summit
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|Designing a morally questionable character doesn't have to railroad your players into moustache-twirling villainy: done right, it can present a truly meaningful study in compromise and complicity. Dan Nagler, designer and writer for Gigantic Mechanic, details a unified design strategy for creating this type of game protagonist: a character whose very moral ambiguity is leveraged for positive dramatic, emotional and educational effect. This theory is grounded in Gigantic Mechanic's design for the Edward M. Kennedy Institute's Senate Immersion Module, a digital and live-action hybrid game that puts students in the shoes of antebellum, slaveholding American politicians.