Games tell us one truth, but perhaps they shouldn’t be telling us the truth at all


“Bad people” aren’t the only ones who lie; creative types are more likely to to have strong “moral flexibility.” That is, more creative people are better at justifying dishonest actions. Dan Ariely, author of Predictably Irrational, explores the motivations behind such justifications in his book The (Honest) Truth About DIshonesty: How We Lie to Everyone–Especially Ourselves

Just as creativity enables us to envision novel solutions to tough problems, it can also enable us to develop original paths around rules, all the while allowing us to reinterpret information in a self-serving way… [C]reativity can help us tell better stories — stories that allow us to be even more dishonest but still think of ourselves as wonderfully honest people.

Creative justifications for dishonesty might transfer to other unethical acts, including the video game world. So I’m an alien tortured by scientists? Guess that gives me the right to kill them all! Of course games are going to have their playful absurdities, but we should be careful to keep creative justifications for horrific acts inside games.

[via Brainpickings]