Recently one of the lead designers of the game Hogwarts Legacy talked to Gamesradar to discuss the morality system in place in the upcoming title.
Apparently, there is no “good/bad” morality slider that affects things. Instead, people will react to your actions that they witness and, if continued, word will spread about your actions. But there’s no going full baddy or completely goody-good. You just do you.
Lead designer, Kelly Murphy, described it as:
"“Characters will react visually and audibly to seeing the player cast an Unforgivable, but we don’t have a morality system that punishes them for doing so – this would be too judgemental on the game maker’s part. But, should the player continue these actions, the world will reflect back knowledge of them.”"
But she also stated:
"“This is the ultimate embodiment of role-playing; allowing the player to be evil. Additionally, this was important because it comes from a place of non-judgement by the game creators. If you want to be evil, be evil.”"
It seems that there is a pretty lax scale but they’re having a hard time figuring out a clever way to describe the fact that you can do things such as killing and using unforgivable curses and…being forgiven for it regardless. I can see their difficulty. It’s a hard thing to find a real-world example but I’m willing to give it a try. Let’s go.
Okay, let’s say you want to enter the world of writing. So you come up with a story idea by straight up taking a little bit of The Worst Witch and then stealing the protagonist from Neil Gaiman’s “Tim Hunter” character as your protagonist. You come up with an elaborate bit of fictional lore for your writer and say that the stories were something you came up with to “tell your children” which, to most people would sound INSANE, but to others, it seems charming.
From there you alter the IPs slightly and produce a series of books that do ridiculously well. Even a line of movies with more films than there are books.
But now, let’s say your beloved writer character speaks a real world equivalent of an “unforgivable curse”. Maybe something less to do with magic and more along the lines of bigotry.
In most “game worlds” that would spike your alignment reader into full on baddy territory and you wouldn’t be able to recover. But in THIS world, you not only completely get away with it but then AFTER the scandal, they make a huge game based off your work and you net a RIDICULOUS royalty fee.
Or, to repeat the words of Kelly Murphy…
"If you want to be evil, be evil."