In Fallout: New Vegas, there are certain factions that, regardless of the circumstances, you gain karma by killing. The Legion and Powder Gangers both suffer this fate. Patrolling, sleeping or guarding an outpost–it doesn’t matter. They have been designed this way and therefore any method of punishment you can dispense is legitimate because, clearly, they are evil.
The game manages to get around this by making all of these enemies legitimately loathsome. The Legion rapes and brutalizes women and the Powder Gangers are prisoners that have escaped and decided to wreak havoc upon the countryside. That’s just scratching the surface of their atrocities. Neither cause is sympathetic by design so it should come as no surprise that eliminating them would give a karma boost.
But as the Supreme Court hears arguments on how different groups believe they should treat the sale of violent video games in California, there has truly never been a more apt time to opine on the state of morality systems in gaming. When you think of a time when someone else was telling you what is good and right, video games should never be far from mind.