Publication Details

M. Barnett & C. E. Sharp, 'The moral choice of inFAMOUS: law and morality in video games' (2015) 24 (3) Griffith Law Review 482-499.


With increasing capacity for real-life simulation, high definition graphics, and complex interactive narrativity, video games now offer a high level of sophisticated engagement for players, which contribute significantly to their widespread popular support. As an extremely prevalent sub-culture of new media, they also provoke jurisprudential investigations. This article acknowledges the culturally constructed nature of playing video games, and helps to explore the normative expectations of law that might be facilitated by the narrative structures inherent within the game itself. It does so by exploring one game series within this framework and asks what meaning can be transformed about issues of law, morality and power from playing these games. By analysing and critiquing the way in which both the narrative and the mechanics of this particular game shape our understanding of the relationship between power, law and morality, we argue that Infamous reflects a normative privileging of natural law.



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