The teacher of a high school ethics class in Bergen, Norway is using Telltale’s the Walking Dead to help drive discussion about morality and choices.
Tobias Staaby is certainly not the first to notice that the Zombie game forces players to make some gut-wrenching decisions, but the religion lecturer may well be the first to make it part of a curriculum for an ethics course.
“I thought I would get angry phone calls from a mother or father,” Staaby told Norwegian news publication NRK.no, “but so far I have not gotten it.”
Students at the Nordahl Grieg school vote on which path to take when a moral quandary presents itself in the game, discussing both the theory behind their decision and the results their actions have within the game.
“I want a good catalyst for discussions about ethical theories or ethical dilemmas,” Staaby explained.
“This game provides students with a space they can navigate and discuss within according to the curriculum.”
Students say that the shared experience of the subject matter as presented in the game has helped them to learn the complex subject of modern ethics
Staaby says he hopes other instructors will follow on his classroom successes.
“In five years I hope there are more people who use this similarly,” he said.