Star Wars….and Gee?

When I was watching TV today, this advertisement came up:

It’s a video game that just came out recently called “Star Wars- the Old Republic” (I’m sure many of you have already heard of this game). What really caught my attention was the concept of choosing a side, and having just read the Gee book, it struck me that this game embodied Gee’s very idea of conceptual models and morality for the player (Chapter 6, if you want to refresh your memory). If you’ve ever played the game or read about it, you’ll know that this game allows the player to not only choose a “good” or “bad” side, but to also develop the character in terms of the player’s own conceptual model, whether it is turning a character from the “bad” side and then making good choices to eventually defer over to the “good” side through action, or whether it is converting a character from the “good” side and making choices that would serve for selfish gain, eventually driving the character towards the heart of evil. This makes it almost impossible for you, as the player or as an observer, to determine what is truly “right” or “wrong” in the game.

Interestingly enough, this game was also developed by Bioware, the same company that developed Mass Effect. Therefore, distinct characteristics, such as being able to choose different conversation pieces and missions, are available in order to develop and further your character. Whether you want to choose a conversation piece that is malevolent and violent to further the dark side, or a missionĀ  to improve the good of humanity, it really all depends on what you think is best for your character (or maybe even to satisfy your curiosity of what might happen if you push this button.)