D&D And The Ethics of Imaginary Violence

Over at the Hopes and Fears blog, Clem Bastow has written¬†an interesting article looking at violence as it occurs within roleplaying games such as Dungeons & Dragons [AL], and the ethics that surrounds imaginary play. The article explores one of the tropes of many games that occurs – that of the murderhobo – although it doesn’t call it out by name although alignments are discussed, but really puts the focus on the role of the DM/GM on presenting consequences of actions within games and “policing player actions”. There are many ways that DMs/GMs choose to run their games, and many themes that players and DMs/GMs choose to explore during play. Often the consequences from the actions of players generate some of the most organic and memorable play experiences as character motivations and the results of wanton destruction in an imaginary game world are explored. But not everything is black and white. As the article says:

“A good DM, then, will construct a world in which the in-game morals are far grayer” and this leads to deeper understanding of the actual world that’s being played in.

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