…have good reason to outweigh the needs of the many, Spock’s heroic sacrifice notwithstanding.
Y’see, as Uhura rightly points out in Of Gods and Men, the balance between the needs of the many and the needs of the few and how it guides choices hinges on who makes the choices. It’s the difference between communism and community, between fascism and freedom.
When the individual chooses to sacrifice for the many, it’s noble and heroic. When the group sacrifices for an individual, it’s heartwarming and constructive.
When the group tells the individual to sacrifice for the sake of the collective, it’s a short hop to Big Brother Statism and all of its ills. When the individual demands the group sacrifice for them, special interests can control society over the voice of a silent majority.
…and yes, I just used Star Trek and a fan film as a springboard to obliquely refer to a game company’s statist behavior and warn against fascism clothed in feel-good stated intentions. Yes, I think that Blizzard using RealID as some sort of “the community needs to be a better place” excuse, while stripping away the defenses of people who would rather be anonymous for non-trolling reasons is firmly on the wrong side of the balance of this “needs” philosophy. I won’t bother with political applications of this principle at the moment, but they exist.
While I’m at it, here’s an interesting take on how the Federation might just be a giant, scary cultish mess (the second video, unfortunately it’s a bit mouthy, but he makes some solid points).
Too much geek for one day?
Did I need to throw a KHAAAAAAN! in there? I mean, really, fiction and games can’t possibly have anything useful to say about real life, can they?
Oh, and this sort of kerfluffle is precisely why many “pundits” such as myself write so much about the business of games in addition to the games themselves. They inevitably affect each other, no matter how much we want to mentally isolate the game world from the real world.