Ethical level of gameplays

In Simon Wardley’s book there are different tables of gameplays. Some of them contains these colors depending on how ethical they are:

  • Lawful Good (LG),
  • Neutral (N),
  • Lawful Evil (LE) and
  • and Chaotic Evil (CE).
Gameplays table from Wardley Mapping with the legends LG, N, LE and CE

The origin: The alignment of Dungeons & Dragons

In the Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) fantasy role-playing game, alignment is a categorization of the ethical and moral perspective of player characters, non-player characters, and creatures.

Next, the description of “law”, “chaos”, “neutral”, “good”, “evil” as the third edition of D&D rules defines them.

“Law” and “chaos” axis

  • Law implies honor, trustworthiness, obedience to authority, and reliability. On the downside, lawfulness can include closed-mindedness, reactionary adherence to tradition, judgmentalness, and a lack of adaptability. Those who consciously promote lawfulness say that only lawful behavior creates a society in which people can depend on each other and make the right decisions in full confidence that others will act as they should.
  • Chaos implies freedom, adaptability, and flexibility. On the downside, chaos can include recklessness, resentment toward legitimate authority, arbitrary actions, and irresponsibility. Those who promote chaotic behavior say that only unfettered personal freedom allows people to express themselves fully and lets society benefit from the potential that its individuals have within them.
  • Someone who is neutral with respect to law and chaos has a normal respect for authority and feels neither a compulsion to follow rules nor a compulsion to rebel. They are honest but can be tempted into lying or deceiving others if it suits them.

“Good” and “evil” axis

  • Good implies altruism, respect for life, and a concern for the dignity of sentient beings. Good characters make personal sacrifices to help others.
  • Evil implies harming, oppressing, and killing others. Some evil creatures simply have no compassion for others and kill without qualms if doing so is convenient or if it can be set up. Others actively pursue evil, killing for sport or out of duty to some malevolent deity or master.
  • People who are neutral with respect to good and evil have compunctions against killing the innocent but lack the commitment to make sacrifices to protect or help others. Neutral people are committed to others by personal relationships.

Which use can we give to this table?

The answer is simple: as many as your imagination can figure out.

This detail on the gameplays table is very interesting to study, specially when you are analyzing other companies and you identify the different types of gameplays they are using.

It’s a good combination with the “bad actor” user.

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