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    Mar 30th, 2018 at 00:59:20     -    Prison Architect (PC)

    I have enjoyed my experience with Prison Architect. Today I played through the entirety of the 3rd story chapter of the campaign. A prison riot had broken out and we had to effectively quell the rebellion as soon as possible. This involved calling in Riot Police, Firemen, and a whole bunch of staff to accomplish, however, I didn't find the story particularly engaging in this play through. It definitely feels as though the narrative was added in the end of the development cycle, but the game-play otherwise is still very fun. I think the most ethically interesting part of this game is definitely the idea that you are running a prison as effectively as possible. You're not just designing a normal prison where the well-being of inmates is considered, you are attempting to design the prison that can make the most money while spending the least. It's clear that the game encourages the establishment of a for-profit prison, and the well-being of the inmates takes a backseat to the money making scheme.

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    Mar 29th, 2018 at 00:47:54     -    Prison Architect (PC)

    In playing through Chapter 2 of Prison Architect I came to realize just how strange the game's underlying mechanics really are. It's clear that this is a for-profit institution, and for-profit prisons have recently been demonstrated in real life to be quite inhumane. Not only that, but it seems that to the CEO the prisoner's well being takes a backseat to the effectiveness at which the prison runs. The whole entire prison feels like a money making scheme, and while elements of building the prison with the earnings are there, and therefore making the prison "better" for those held there is present within the game, it still feels so strange. In fact, the concept of prison is a little strange when you think about it; Perhaps the concept of generating the most effective prison possible is even more strange.

    The plot is interesting, however it is certainly not the bread and butter of the game, and at times feels like a very glorified tutorial. The story of the mafiosi is funny, I found it especially entertaining that their last name is "Palermo" which is the city in Sicily where the Mafia originated.

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    Mar 27th, 2018 at 23:59:20     -    Prison Architect (PC)

    Prison Architect is very interesting so far. I enjoy the sort of city-building mechanics that are present within the game, I find that type of game-play to be quite entertaining. However, it is clear that this game is absolutely rife with tons of ethical dilemmas. Having to build the electrical chair and execute the prisoner Edward for his crimes was certainly interesting, especially given that he sought to be forgiven for his quite heinous murder by the priest. He clearly regrets his actions, but we are still required to place him in the electric chair. It's morbid, but it sort of invites questioning as to whether the death penalty IS indeed ethical. While I think it was sort of hamfisted into the story, the game did cause me to think about the dilemma. Perhaps there is a great deal more dilemmas explored that, perhaps, will be less forced into the narrative. I look forward to playing the game more in the upcoming days.

    This entry has been edited 2 times. It was last edited on Mar 28th, 2018 at 00:42:28.

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    Feb 15th, 2018 at 23:59:06     -    Firewatch (PC)

    In my final session with Firewatch today I began to really discover the moral dilema within the game. The beginning of the game is designed to give you that empathy and sense of loss that Henry has experienced with the eventual loss of his wife to early onset dementia/Alzheimer's, and then introduces Delilah as a possible relief to that pain. The game wants you to decide whether you are going to keep interacting with Delilah, keep moving along the path that will bring you closer with her, or if you are going to stay with Julia. The discovery of the man taking all of the notes of their conversation, as well as the events and news behind the disappearance of the two teenagers, hint that there is something going on that perhaps Delilah is aware of and doesn't tell Henry. Earlier on, Delilah makes a radio call out to someone else, perhaps hinting that she knows whoever this person listening to them is. I don't know whether I should trust her or not, but I feel for Henry. I think it's a very interesting idea to explore the difficulties of a relationship where one person needs to be cared for within a game. The player has time to grow attached to characters, particularly if your actions within the game influence them, and it's even more interesting for a game to explore what sorts of consequences a player can incur if they choose to explore other opportunities outside of their marriage/relationship.

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