Morality play: a model for developing games of moral expertise

Dan Staines*, Paul Formosa, Malcolm Ryan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


According to cognitive psychologists, moral decision-making is a dual-process phenomenon involving two types of cognitive processes: explicit reasoning and implicit intuition. Moral development involves training and integrating both types of cognitive processes through a mix of instruction, practice, and reflection. Serious games are an ideal platform for this kind of moral training, as they provide safe spaces for exploring difficult moral problems and practicing the skills necessary to resolve them. In this article, we present Morality Play, a model for the design of serious games for ethical expertise development based on the Integrative Ethical Education framework from moral psychology and the Lens of the Toy model for serious game design.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)410-429
Number of pages20
JournalGames and Culture
Issue number4
Early online date6 Nov 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2019


  • ethics
  • serious games
  • design
  • moral psychology
  • moral choices
  • dual-process theory
  • game-based learning


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