Monday, March 09, 2009

Moral conduct at 6

Consumer Ethics
Her tone isn't accusatory; she wants confirmation of her understanding. "You don't shop at Wal-Mart."

"No, I don't." I'm not sure how she knows this. It's because we don't go that the name is rarely mentioned. Times, driving around, looking for some product or other, J-F and I may roll our eyes at each other: "We could always try Wal-Mart." Helena evidently hears our mocking scorn loud and clear.

She tells me her grandmother shops at Wal-Mart. Is that OK? Helena's new outfit — the raincoat (pink), umbrella (pink), and galoshes (mauve and pink) — comes from Wal-Mart. Is that OK?

There must be a slight grimace in my smile.

"Why don't you shop at Wal-Mart?" I keep it simple, but honest: I don't think the employees are paid much or treated very well. And a lot of smaller shops have had to close because of Wal-Mart, so a lot of people have lost their jobs. Not shopping there is my way of saying I don't like the way Wal-Mart does business.

Helena the conciliator, the diplomat, rationalizes her grandmother's actions. It's close to her house, and they really needed to buy slippers (for Helena) in a hurry.

Virtual Morality
It was bound to happen. All the travelling and adventuring, the whistling and dancing. They really like you, they want to marry you, I tell her.

For weeks she's somewhat horrified by the idea. "But we're already married!?!" But someone must've caught her fancy.

Fable II has brought us all to consider our worldviews in a new light.

For weeks, Helena has been transporting the citizens of Westcliff and Bloodstone — Lee the Thug, Victor the Drunkard — to nicer environs. "How can they live there? It's not very nice. And it's not safe either."

And so, our character comes to marry one of the poor sots. A new family in a new town. I question Helena about it. She's coy: notre amoureux, lui qui habite à Bowerstone — he doesn't have to know. Besides, she tells me, Papa in his game has 4 or 5 families.

The thing is: she knows it's a game. Why not, then, play out something you wouldn't dream of doing in real life?

The consequences for Helena's bigamous character: blackmail. I explain it to her, and it seems that worry actually crosses her brow. You can ignore the letter or pay the man (I leave out a more violent alternative).

Pay him, she insists after careful thought. No one has to know. Not in this game-world anyway.

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