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Moral video games for convict rehabilitation

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Shubhankar Kulkarni
Shubhankar Kulkarni Sep 01, 2021
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The idea: Convicts play video games aimed at improving their psychological health.

The idea was inspired by @Darko's idea - A first-person shooter game where you are the only one armed and nobody deserves to get shot. The ultimate aim of the game is to make the convicts realize "that there is no need to walk around with all the military gear because there are just normal people everywhere".

An example of such a game: The player (the convict) is the only person in the game that carries weapons. They are responsible for maintaining peace in the area without the use of the weapon. They are allowed to use it but it is highly discouraged you lose points for that. They should try to diffuse any tense situation using just their conversational skills (or the justice system) even though they carry weapons. No use of the weapons for a day/ week and still maintaining peace gives them more points. If you shoot someone, their whole life flashes in front of you, including their good deeds and the mourning of people who loved them, making you feel guilty.

Execution of the game: Prisons could host play stations where the convicts spend at least some specified amount of time playing this game. The game gets difficult based on the convict's changing (improving) behavior. For example, the decisions that the convict needs to take during the game become harder. There are people in the game who are "bad" and need to be executed. This "badness" becomes more and more subtle as the game progresses, making it harder for the player to decide whether to execute them or not.

The game needs to be coupled with counseling sessions that interpret the game and convey the rationale correctly to the convicts. The convicts should be able to speak to the counselor regarding the moral dilemmas they faced in the game and how they could solve them better. The counselor could have access to their gaming profiles and the feed to the webcam installed that records the convict's behavior when they are playing.

To discourage them from killing innocent people in the game, the game results may be translated to their real-life. For example, the convicts who make a quick improvement in the game may get their favorite food or slightly more visiting hours. I am not sure whether there should be punishments for purposely killing more and more innocents in the game.

What do you think about the idea?
What games do you propose that could be suitable? Do any such games exist?


Creative contributions

Facial expression mimicking as a tool to automatize the process

jnikola Jul 19, 2022
I think the idea is great and I would just like to add a feature. Since you mentioned webcams that could affect gameplay based on the convict's changing (improving) behaviour and that it should be coupled with counseling sessions that interpret the game and convey the rationale correctly, I would also propose using facial recognition and in-game facial expression mimicking.
How would it work?
The webcam would film the facial gestures of the convict which would then be mimicked by the in-game character. That way we could automate both, the gameplay (scenario) modifications, as well as professional counselling. AI could track facial gestures, and record the convict's behaviour and responses without the need for additional manpower. The counselling sessions could be introduced in gameplay by letting the sociologist/psychologist choose a character for himself/herself and meet the player and interact with the convict in-game. By seeing their reactions in-game, psychologists could dug deeper inside convict's mind and potentially understand the problem behind their violent behaviour. Facial expression mimicking (like shown here) could thus be used to make the game more fun, automatize the scenario modifications and automatize the counseling.
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Shubhankar Kulkarni
Shubhankar Kulkarni2 years ago
Real-time in-game counselling! I like it.
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