For those of you who don’t know it, Undertale is a great indie RPG which has a compelling and rich storyline and characters. But you need to get all the endings to really understand the whole story. And one of those endings is “genocide,” meaning that you need to kill everything you can, including almost all the main characters.
I’ve been watching people doing genocide runs of Undertale. I think this is really interesting because people are really not happy with it. They are sad, anxious, and will even cry if they kill a particularly beloved character. I find that interesting because, under the position that all humans are fundamentally selfish, it makes no sense at all for people to mar their enjoyment of a video game with sadness or anxiety. At least with movies you can say that seeing humans on screen explains it, and most video games involving human characters. But in this case, there are no human characters except yourself (and also *censored due to spoiler*), so empathy for another human being has nothing to do with it.
I think it’s a pretty conclusive demonstration that humans are basically social animals. As long as we identify with a story, our moral and emotional evaluations go along with that story.