Relationships within Video Games
In the modern age, video games have continuously built upon relationships between the various virtual characters and the player. The Sims and Mass Effect series are well known for the relationships that the player can have with a multitude of characters. I have played both, and with each, I have a moral decision on who I should and shouldn't try to have relations with.
I have personally been playing the Shin Megami Tensei series, more specifically Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4. I have played through the game through August so far and I have come to the point where I am at max social links with multiple characters. The social link status is basically like a friendship meter that helps out when creating new Personas, basically, gods to help in battle, and giving new abilities to them. With certain social links there comes a time near the end in which you can go into a love or intimate relationship with the character. Chie Satonaka, Yukiko Amagi, mysterious Marie and Rise Kujikawa are some of the characters that the player can have intimate relationships with. I, personally, have not completed the game so I don't know if there are any ramifications for dating multiple people throughout the game, but if there is, I will figure that out because I am dating Chie and Yukiko currently.
Chie Satonaka and Yukiko Amagi are the first two females other than your little cousin Nanako that you meet within the game. They immediately befriend you and their social link activates early so they are able to level up the earliest. This leads to their social link being the first ones that you max out. Chie Satonaka is an active girl that loves to eat steak skewers, while Yukiko is a polar opposite. Yukiko has a hard time expressing herself and she usually is stuck within a world of her own during most in-game conversations. As the social links continue throughout the game both Chie and Yukiko start to come out of their shells, but only around the player character. They seem to have a deep connection with the character and the prompts that the player are able to select can give insight on to how to actually speak to another real life person. During the conversations, you can select to be quiet, sweet or rude, but given the context, rude or saying nothing is actually beneficial to continuing the social link.
As I was sweet talking my way to Chie and Yukiko's hearts, I was a moral dilemma. I knew that I would activate Chie's intimate relationship before Yukiko's, but I didn't know if I would personally date Chie. I wanted to be true to my feelings in the game and Chie is actually someone that I could have lots of fun with because she loves terrible Kong Fu movies and wants to better the world by helping those that need it. While Yukiko basically owns a job and property with the Inn that she will inherit off of her parents, she is a prime choice to be with because we are set for life later. Also, Yukiko's inner demon is all about wanting an intimate relationship with someone. She has wanted to be free and since she has felt stuck in Inaba for her entire life, she would be more willingly to be loyal, loving and caring in a relationship. So what choice do I take? Well since both Yukiko and Chie are perfect candidates for me, I chose them both; however, I still have a worry because they are both best friends with not only the group but with each other. If they were to figure out that they both are dating me, they would not be happy and it may end up ruining their friendships. I had another chance to add another girl into the mix of people that I'm dating, but I turned her down because I didn't want another person that I am possibly going to disappoint.
In other games, such as Dragon Age Inquisition, I have personally changed the sex of my character just so I could have relations with a character that is only interested in the same sex. I didn't like the people that I had choices of as a male character, so I changed to female in order to have relations with her. A choice to replay the game, even though I made it pretty far in the game previously, just to get into relations with a single character can prove alone that relationships within video games are important and have a huge moral and gameplay decisions on the players.