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    Apr 6th, 2017 at 16:23:02     -    Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons (PC)

    The first real ethical thing in the game came when the two brothers found, in the mine, a lady giant being held captive in a cage by an ogre. Based on his appearance, he was of a different (presumably dominant) species that maybe had enslaved the race of giants. I freed the giant by stealing the key and then the ogre noticed and I trapped it in the same cage the giant had been in. A short time later, it was revealed that the lady giant was the wife of the one who'd helped the two boys earlier on and then during an arena "battle" I was forced to kill an ogre to continue by dropping it down a pit and then forcing its hands off the ledge to make it fall. I tried to help it or find another solution but the game forced me to plunge it to its death before I could continue. There was nothing to do but move on after that. The two brothers left the husband and wife giants behind and went on their journey, beginning a night of danger. After wolves stalked them and they went through rapids and avoided tree monsters, the younger brother was knocked unconscious and dreamed. In his dream his mother was huge and lay almost motionless, her hand forming a cage over their unmoving father, and his brother was in a total daze. When he got his mother (I think it was her--I'd have to look at the opening cinematic again to check) to uncage his father, he panicked at the state of his dad and then his older brother attacked him and choked him. He woke up to find his real brother and the two hugged. The exact meaning of this dream is unclear so far. From an ethical perspective, the two's treatment of the ogres bothered me. There was really not enough information to determine whether the actions they took against the ogres were right.

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    Apr 5th, 2017 at 18:10:29     -    Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons (PC)

    The townsfolk are quite rude. While there was one old lady who pointed out where the two boys should go, the rest are completely uncaring and either get in the way or just don't help at all. One of them even let the younger brother drink alcohol, though thankfully he couldn't stand the taste or the burn and spat it out. When the older brother couldn't play a man's harp, that man mocked him. It gives the experience of an unfeeling, uncaring town. However, once the two are out of the town, they meet a giant who helps them for a while, allowing them to get places they couldn't otherwise in order to continue on their journey. After he's gone, though, the two enter a mine where they see dozens of his kind slaving away at the walls, though it's unclear exactly what the nature of their work is. The only thing approaching an ethical choice so far is the little brother, when interacting with a bird's cage, can release the bird. As of yet, this action appears to have no consequences. The younger brother in general seems like he's flippant and impolite to people.

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    Apr 4th, 2017 at 18:09:46     -    Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons (PC)

    Brothers is clearly a game about creating a specific play experience--that of cooperation, but among characters all controlled by one player, rather than an actual "coop" game. Similar games, like many Lego entries, tend to do this kind of thing by swapping between characters, but Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons does so by having you control both characters at once, each on one half of the controller. While this isn't the greatest control scheme in the world, it enables a different kind of play The basic story is that the two brothers' father is dying and there's something in a far off place that can save him from the unspecified sickness, so the two set out to save their dad, a story made more effective by the characters speaking in a language the player can't really understand. The game also values the idea of brotherhood, as one might guess, but also familial bonds in general. In the first half-hour, a sequence that stood out to me was the younger brother being scared of water (the opening scene had his mother drowning at sea while the younger brother, alone, failed to save her) and the older helping him deal with it by letting the younger brother simply hold on while the elder swam for both of them. The game's mechanics reinforce teamwork and establish a bond between the two through just controlling them.

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    Feb 23rd, 2017 at 18:58:00     -    Thomas Was Alone (PC)

    This time around, the pixel cloud got serious and started picking off the members of Thomas' little group, and it was sad how they were gradually separated, one by one. First, Thomas, Second, Chris, Third, Laura, Fourth, Claire (John had wanted to be next, so that he wouldn't be alone), and finally, John was taken into the pixel cloud. That's when, suddenly and for the first time in many levels, a new character is introduced: James. James is probably a character that is the quadrilateral equivalent of being gay ("inverted"), because he falls upward and jumps downward, while being someone who's a social outcast and sorta bitter about it. It's not explicitly said to be that, but I get the feeling he's a representation of someone gay while avoiding outright saying it. He rescues Thomas and finds the red quadrilateral isn't so judgmental as other people had been and they get along. Depending on interpretation, this could be the introduction of a moral question, but I think it's better to just think of it as generic "diversity". Like people such as Shakespeare, the game is taking "weight" in the case of Claire, "oddity" in the case of Laura, "competitiveness" in the case of John, and so on, and transferring them into a different world that is distant from our own so it can avoid a strong reaction. The idea of AI seems to be rather adjacent to the rest of the game, instead of a core element. Unlike my experience with The Talos Principle, Thomas Was Alone isn't trying to talk in depth about artificial intelligence, and instead using it as a premise to a game.

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