They felt "guilt for a bunch of pixels on a screen."To learn more about that idea, he sat a series of college students down and had them play the first act of Fallout 3, a post-apocalyptic game from 2008. That's a good choice: In that game, you start as a blank slate, literally from birth, then grow up and start making decisions. What Weaver found was that most people played the game as if it was real life. "People would say things like, 'I felt bad for character x," Weaver says. They weren't interested in injuring or stealing. They felt "guilt for a bunch of pixels on a screen." But how to explain the people who did play in a way we'd term "immorally"? (They might've killed a character in the game so they could benefit financially, for example, or made some other move that benefited themselves to the detriment of others.) Did they have a warped sense of the right thing to do? Nope, Weaver says. Those were the pros. They had experience with the game or similar games, so after already, presumably, making a run with the moral barrier intact, they could play strategically, making decisions that would make for a character objectively stronger, even if that raised the body count.