Honors Projects


Interactivity is what distinguishes video games as a medium. In “moral choice video games,” or games in which the moral alignment of player choices affects plot and gameplay, the music often reflects the branching storylines. While scholarship exists that explores musical signifiers in video games, and scholarship alike exists that investigates moral choice video games, a gap in literature exists at the juncture of these two topics. This paper explores two moral choice video games—Undertale (Toby Fox, 2015) and Red Dead Redemption 2 (Rockstar Games, 2018)—in order to identify musical signifiers used by each game’s composer to represent these levels of morality and seek trends between the two that may apply to other games. Ultimately, two factors arose—depth and space—that distinguish moral musical cues from immoral ones. This analysis presents both an introduction to theory regarding moral signifiers in interactive media and a potential guide for composers wishing to score moral choice video games.




Music Composition

First Advisor

Elainie Lillios

First Advisor Department


Second Advisor

Ethan Jordan

Second Advisor Department


Publication Date

Fall 12-10-2023