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18 Super Messed Up Decisions Video Games Have Forced You To Make

Updated May 27, 2020 32.2k votes 9.2k voters 635k views18 items

List RulesVote up the most difficult moral choices video games force you to make.

Moral choices in video games have only grown as a trend over the years. There used to be a time when nobody cared about the ethics of Mario jumping on anthropomorphic turtles or the potential to cause a pileup by leading a large frog into traffic. That's because those horrors were just a bunch of pixels. They still are, and, granted, some games still let you do horrific things with no consequences, but with the introduction of photorealistic models, deep characterization, and real-world values into narratives, video games have become greater engines for generating empathy and guilt.

Talented game writers use these emotions to challenge players with interesting and complex moral quandaries during the course of gameplay. This is entertainment value that can only be mined by the game industry, as no other medium gives control of a character's decisions to the consumer in quite the same way. No other medium can make the consumer feel the weight of a character's decisions quite so heavily.

For your consideration is a list of some of the video game moral dilemmas that most made players tear their hair out, wavering back and forth while staring at a 'Pause' screen. Now it is up to you to upvote the ones you feel most strongly about. You can handle it.

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  • Video: YouTube

    While the Little Sisters of Bioshock are creepy threats who spend all day harvesting ADAM from fallen splicers, they're still just helpless little girls once you take down their giant protectors. So what do you do with them? In a show of true devilish manipulation, the game rewards you with twice the amount of ADAM if you eliminate them.

    But, if you do the right thing and save the sisters from the hold of their sea slugs, Tenenbaum will reward you with gifts, and you'll get the extra happy ending of escaping rapture with all of them. Rather than stop players with one titanic choice, the game subtly challenges players to weigh whether their character's strength is worth the loss of fictional innocents in the game.

  • Video: YouTube

    After defeating Matriarch Benezia on Noveria, the Rachni Queen, a giant telepathic bug, is left to be dealt with. She asks for mercy from Shepard, insinuates that the cruelty inflicted by her species was caused by outside forces, and claims her only intention is to rebuild her species peacefully. The player can then allow her to go free, saving the Rachni species from total obliteration, or splatter that bug with prejudice. Can you live with the extermination of an entire sentient (albeit disgusting) species?

  • Video: YouTube

    When you play the game of Game of Thrones, some of your playable characters are going to die. In the final episode, you'll have to make a choice between the two Forrester brothers: Asher and Roderick. One must sacrifice himself to save the other. Did you think there'd be a happy ending? Dude, it's Game of Thrones.

  • Video: YouTube

    During the player's travels across the wasteland, he might stumble upon a beautiful patch of green amidst the ruin called Oasis. Grass, trees, water - this place has it all! Turns out, an old mutant friend from the original Fallout games named Harold is responsible. The sapling growing out of his head (Bob) eventually overwhelmed him, rooted him in place, and grew this tiny paradise. Of course, Harold is bored as hell and wants you to end his life painlessly.

    Other folks, however, have different plans, one being to keep him alive and contained in Oasis, and the other being to make Harold blossom and turn the whole wasteland into a hippie commune. You can choose any of these options, or if you're a real evil player, you can set the frightened Harold ablaze.