He makes more or less the same points that I made in a similar talk back in 2004, linked here as well as in the stack on the right. PK talks are great because they cut right to the point. In all honesty in today's age, I am starting to lose faith in the 1 hour talk format.
I commented briefly on Manveer's site, but I wanted to recap the point here. One of the four points Manveer identifies in his talk as being important to designing for meaningful ethical decisions is `permanence`. He states in his notes "A dilemma ceases to be a dilemma if you get a do-over. Save games, unfortunately ruin this.".
I find myself unwilling to accept this. As I said in the comments over on his side, this is seeking to apply an author-centric narrative model to a medium with which it is not compatible. Games (at least modern single-player computer games) allow the ability to redo actions through save-load. This is inherent to what they are and quite possibly need to be.
In The Iliad, when Hector decides to go and fight Achilles, we know he's going to die... so does everyone else. So does he. And that's the point. Hector can't do anything else because Hector is Hector and that is why we care. Author centric media allow for this inevitability. In fact, they are dependant on it.
In a game, Hector is not Hector. Hector is the player and the player will keep fighting Achilles until he wins, and this is the way it should be. In fact, making it impossible to change the decision and do it differently - arguably even making it difficult to beat Achilles to try and make the player feel the way Hector feels - is contrary to what both games and difficult decisions are about. The emotional emphasis and resultant challenge should be on the decision to commit to fighting Achilles, not the rote mashing of buttons to launch the combos that will sever the tendon that bears his name and beat him.
The path forward - in my opinion - is to invent a new ethical decision making model specific to games that embraces what games are instead of rejecting it for the models used in other author-centric media that have been successful up to now. I don't know exactly what that model is shaped like (though I talked about it in my talk), but I know that if we adopt a narrativoid, author-centric model, we may one day manage to make EDMs in games that are as compelling as those in authored media, but we'll never exceed the emotional weight of those media.
If we truly want to be the dominant culture form of the twenty-first century, we have fight on our own terms, not on their terms. We have to do it the way that works for us. We have to step out on the field of battle and face our own Achilles, even if it means we will lose, because it's in our nature and we can't do it differently anyway...
Or maybe we can.
Maybe we can all try it our own different way and collectively solve the problem by trying all the different permutations simultaneously and seeing which way works and comparing notes in real time via the interwebs instead of waiting for someone to write down the authoritative solution and teach it to us.
That's what I'm talkin' about. How's that for a meta-post.