Ethicists have come up with striking thought experiments in order to explore various aspects of common questions. Judith Jarvis Thomson's "A Defense of Abortion" (1971) suggested that if you had been kidnapped by music lovers so that your kidneys and your uniquely compatible blood type could sustain a famous violinist through a nine-month course of treatment, it would be permissible to disconnect (and thereby doom) the violinist if you didn't feel like spending the next nine months of your life in a hospital bed.
This is just one example, but I thought that it would be interesting to let a player work through some of these examples with guidance from certain ethicists. I've taken a tentative first step in creating such a work of interactive fiction:( Inform 7 code looks remarkably like English, so you'll probably understand this... )
The bulk of the work is handling conversations with these guides, perhaps in a way similar to Emily Short's Glass
(a reworking of the Cinderella story). I want the player to be able to ASK KANT WHAT I SHOULD DO, or ASK MILL ABOUT MY FREEDOM, and ultimately to TELL THE NURSE I WANT TO STAY or TELL THE NURSE TO DISCONNECT THE VIOLINIST. That would end the scene, perhaps leading the player into the Trolley Problem
, or (ultimately) into a debriefing room in which an ethicist explains what kind of ethics best matches the decisions the player has made in all these scenes.
I doubt I'll spend much time on this, but I'm just putting it out there for the hell of it.