Deep Black & White

10 Nov 2000

Why is Black & White important. It's not a question, it's a ponderance. Same thing? It depends on if you want it to be... this is a philosophical musing that ebbs and flows in one of the better articles I have read recently, especially concerning a game, which for me, elevates its interest substantially.

Reading the article got me to thinking about where he was going with it. Here is a question. Can you conclude that Black & White is important because to achieve in the game, it causes you to think about who you are and the consequences of your actions with respect to the continuum from Black (evil, dark, etc.) to White (pure, light, good, etc.), not just either or? In other words, are you neither good nor evil yet somewhere in between, and if so, where? Have other games done this? Has Baldur's Gate II? To some extent, yes, Baldur's Gate II had me thinking overall that, since I had evil aligned characters in my party, that to roleplay, I would stay somewhat neutral with a slant toward the good, but no qualms about killing if I had to. I became used to the thinking that not all actions have a strictly good or evil result, and also not that I was an amalgam of my choices, but more I was who I felt like being, based upon where I was at the moment and my alignment.

Yet Black & White goes further and I think that this was the article's point. Where as in BG2 one was aware of their spot on the spectrum, for the first time, a game proposes to make one actively think about where they fall in the spectrum as a result of good or evil actions. In BG2: 'I am this type of character and must respond accordingly.' In Black & White: 'I am a result of my actions.'

Enough talk. Back to the news =). It's written by one of guys over at the Lao Tzu fan site and the article entitled "The Psychology of Black & White" can be found here.
 
 

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