Most of the time, yes, in video games in which I make a choice I am conscious of the decisions I am making and the consequences that would entail. However, when it comes to the question of whether or not I am willingly replicating or subverting the tropes of “power” I would say no, I am not consciously aware of that. Video Games are different than other mediums in that we, the player, are inserted into an avatar that we use to interact with the game’s setting; and naturally that aspect also affects any and all decisions that are presented to us in-game. For example, say there was a choice in which the player is given the choice of tackling on an entire battalion of fearsome enemies, or on the other hand, just sneak past in an alternate route. Naturally, if our “avatar” character is the usual nameless hero meant to completely represent us, then the choice falls solely on our whim or fancy; however, if the avatar character has a set backstory, say your character follows the trope of the great Gothic hero with superior agency, bravery, and skills – then you would lean more towards replicating that representation of “power” by choosing to tackle on the group of enemies head-on. On the other side of that spectrum, if you were playing a character that is less powerful, injured, or skilled – then the more appealing choice would be to subvert the representation of power in relation to the gothic hero.
First one – The distinction between “Game Mode” and “Play Mode” is valuable in that it allows us to put a label in the distinction between pure gameplay for the sake of just playing, and a true immersive experience where the player fully enjoys and are invested in their experience with the game. These terms also helps us differentiate what can be considered a “bad game” from a “good game” with the former being a boring, mindless experience and the latter being an enjoyable immersive time
Second one – The question of morality and making decisions fueled by such in games such as Fallout becomes more complicated once we consider the numeric value placed behind such decisions. The “good” or “bad” karma point system imposes different motivations behind the supposed moral decisions you make – whether or not you are doing it to follow your own moral code or simply to gain more karma points to gain favor with factions.