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    dstrope15's Little Nightmares (PC)

    [August 30, 2018 05:32:52 PM]
    I was finally able to finish Little Nightmares today, and wow, what an ending. The fifth and final chapter sees you confronting the character of that chapter and ultimately killing her. Once this is completed, you walk back through the area from the previous chapter, sucking out the life force and ultimately killing anyone who gets too close to you. The last shot is of you walking up a long flight of stairs into sunlight and thus presumably the outside world. This raises an ethical dilemma similar to the last chapter.

    Whereas the last chapter tricked the player into performing a morally questionable action with forcing them to kill the creature instead of taking the presented sausage, this time there is no question as to what will happen if the player walks up those stairs. The main character has become a living embodiment of evil, killing indiscriminately those who draw too close. Letting this abomination up those stairs and into the outside world will undoubtedly result in untold death and destruction. Yet the only way to beat the game to walk up those stairs and release this monster onto the outside world. Is it ethical for a game to force the player to perform actions they know to be morally wrong?

    This character arc also raises further questions about ethical dilemmas presented from the start of the game. Earlier I asked the question of if it was ethical for a game to portray a seemingly child protagonist in peril and, in several cases, show said protagonist dying. Is it possible this moral dilemma is solved knowing what we know now about the protagonist. Is it ethical to show a young character in violent situations if said character is evil? Is it moral to seemingly portray such an evil character as so young in the first place? Would these moral dilemmas of playing an evil character shown in violent situations be resolved if the character appeared to be older, thus infringing less upon the inherent innocence of childhood?

    Overall, I very much enjoyed my playthrough of Little Nightmares. While the game can be somewhat repetitive at times and the gameplay a little clunky, the entire package is absolutely worth a look. The atmosphere is top notch, and the decision to make the player character appear so young really works in favor of the gameís horror elements and helps tell a surprising and difficult narrative make the player that much more uncomfortable and on edge. The game certainly provided plenty of fun moral dilemmas to examine for the purposes of this class and provided an enjoyable experience.

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    [August 27, 2018 08:20:52 PM]
    Finished another two levels of Little Nightmares today and I must say Iím impressed. The thematic themes of consumption and the surprising arc for the main character have really improved my outlook on the game, which was already positive. Plus, being chased by a flood of morbidly obese monsters clearly wanting to eat you is an excellent adrenaline rush. Once again, however, there are some interesting moral questions to explore here, particularly with the arc the main character goes through over these first four levels.

    While at first you would be mistaken for believing the central character to be a scared and seemingly innocent boy, he is revealed to be a monster himself by the end of the fourth level. Throughout the game there are sections where your character is overcome with hunger and acquires food to resolve this in a matter of ways. Things take a dark turn, however, at the end of the third level, where the only available food is a rat which is still alive but trapped. The only way to proceed is to go to the rat and begin to eat it while it is still alive. This is both shocking and disturbing, but it is arguably understandable as this is the characterís only option for survival. Things get even worse, however, when at the end of the fourth level, you are overcome with hunger once again. Throughout the game you have been able to find mysterious creatures who you have been able to hug and befriend who will follow you around until you leave their little area. This effectively attaches the character to these creatures, who are always presented as innocent and sweet and are only ever seen running away from danger. One such creature is found at the end of level four, and seeing you are clearly very hungry, offers you a sausage. The main character, however, ignores the sausage and proceeds to eat the innocent creature, turning the main character into a monster themselves.

    Is it ethical for a game to trick a player into doing something immoral? Is it ok for a game to force a player to do something immoral in the first place? Should a game be allowed to trick the player into playing a monster, or even have the playable character be a monster in the first place? Overall, I have continued to enjoy Little Nightmareís oppressive atmosphere and fantastic visuals. Furthermore, I have been pleasantly surprised by the gameís initially subtle narrative and not so subtle themes. I canít wait to finish it and see how the story wraps up and what demented monsters I will be confronted with next.
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    [August 26, 2018 11:54:32 PM]
    I started Little Nightmares today and made it through the first two levels. I've found the game very interesting thus far. It totally nails the mood and atmosphere, but the gameplay can occasionally be a little clunky and frustrating. I am a little disappointed that the game seems to be entirely focused on the experience and largely neglecting a narrative, even littered throughout the environment. I think that the decision to make the player character a small child was a smart one, however, as it really helps build up a sense of vulnerability and add to the tension. This is reflected in the gameplay, as all you can do when an enemy spots you is run and hide, thanks in no small part to the massive size difference between you and your enemies.

    However, this brings up obvious moral questions to unpack. While not overly graphic, the game only received a teen rating from the ESRB, it does depict violence against the child protagonist in a number of ways, including falling to their death and being killed by leaches. Is it ok for videogames to depict child violence in such a manner? Is it better or worse than depicting the death of an adult? Upon restarting the level, the character is shown as though waking up with a start from a nightmare, implying that your death was merely another nightmare. Does the fact that it seemingly didnít happen within the game world make it better or is it the portrayal of violence against a child at all the issue? Would a more a more graphic death scene be unacceptable with the child protagonist, but perfectly fine with an adult protagonist? Does how the violence is depicted and how graphic it is change if it is morally acceptable to be shown or is it again simply that it is depicted at all? Would it be more acceptable if the violence was implied and/or happening off screen instead of shown, or would this only add to the horror and repulsion as our imaginations filled in the rest?

    Overall, I have enjoyed my time with Little Nightmares and am looking to playing some more. It has some quirks, but it is mostly engaging and its atmosphere is masterful, even if the tension can occasionally be a little lacking. So far it seems like a solid game with some fun moral questions to examine for the purposes of this class.
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    dstrope15's Little Nightmares (PC)

    Current Status: Finished playing

    GameLog started on: Sunday 26 August, 2018

    GameLog closed on: Thursday 30 August, 2018

    dstrope15's opinion and rating for this game

    Impressive atmosphere and surprising story with a little clunk.

    Rating (out of 5):starstarstarstar

    Related Links

    See dstrope15's page

    See info on Little Nightmares

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