Posted in Design.

Ethics in games and Ethical design.

When designing an interactive experience there are a lot of topics that have to be addressed, but none as important as ethical issues surrounding the topic presented by you through the digital media you trying to create. When we look at serious games and what they actually do for the player, it’s easy to understand how hard it is to account for all ethical mindsets and let alone design for a range of different target audience and markets.

It should always be paramount to approach the game design process, to understand where and when ethics can come into play during your development. Because it will need to be addressed as it will at some stage. Ethics in a day to day interaction is a little easier to address if you are the one dealing with it. In develop, you need to address not only how you see it, but you need to consider other points of view and understanding. This is some we need to be designed for in our app. is a great little site with some very interesting incites into ethics.  Having looked at my own practices and made a small manifesto I found their manifesto on ethical design very helpful.

Check out the video here


Ethics will play a part in our projects as we have to evaluate our design. Trying to balance the fun with the reality, our focus and design goals fit these. Critical to our design of a serious or educational experience. Players need to be motivated by the theme of your product, this helps people relate to the context of the app. Hopefully, that you are to make it so people can see and transfers what they get from an experience into their day to day lives.

The International Game Developers Association (IGDA) is in place to help ethics in the industry. The Code can be found here.

It covers the Principles, ethics in a Workplace and for people in a position of Leadership because ethic is something that only applies to some individuals.


We can draw some relative ethics based game design principles from games Mass Effect titles (2007 – 2017), but these are still predominantly marketed as entertainment and not a serious game, so they have different ethical values.

In mass effect, players have the choice to pick what is right and what is wrong in the context of the game environment. This isn’t complex ethics based design, but it’s understood that players should have their own say in what’s right and wrong within the game world, putting choices into the player’s hands so they can choose based on their own person views and beliefs.

Ethical design is easy to understand, but it’s difficult to apply this to creative work and allow for all the types of individuals that will be interaction with you work. Our development team are approaching the ethical design of this project with an understanding that our product will acknowledge  Human Rights, Human Effort, and Human Experience.

Thanks for reading.


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