Moral Agent

Method Overview

A game within the Ethics for Designers Toolkit consisting of various components such as moral value cards, name cards, and an overview of moral values, designed for a team of designers to generate ideas while considering a set of values.

Example of a game materials available from the method website.

Getting Started

Materials: Moral Agent components, empty index cards, pens, sheet of paper  

Participants: Team

Steps: (from the Ethics for Designers website)

  1. Print the moral value cards, name cards, value overview and instructions*. Collect index cards for recording your ideas. Make sure you have a timer.
  2. Place your design brief in the middle of the table. Shuffle the value cards and deal one to each player. Take a moment to read what’s on your card. Give each player a stack of empty index cards. Use these to write/draw your ideas; 1 idea per card.
  3. Set a timer for 15 minutes and start generating ideas, using your value as inspiration. The goal is to make sure your value is represented in the pool of ideas as much as possible. When time is up, place all the ideas face down on a pile. Shuffle the pile. 
  4. Take turns presenting an idea. Grab an idea from the pile, making sure no one else can see what’s on the card. Pitch the idea to your fellow players. You can bluff to throw off your fellow players.
  5. Claim an idea by placing your hand in the middle of the table. Whoever is first, gets the idea. The goal is to claim as many ideas with your value in them, without revealing your value. 
  6. Once all ideas have been pitched it’s time to count the points. Start by filling in the name card with which value you think each player has. Then the values are revealed. Finally, you go through each player’s ideas and discuss if their value is represented in the idea.


This methods microsite is based off of analysis which is available in a preprint manuscript. Feel free to review our methodology and other details! We welcome your comments and feedback ! Please also use this form if you would like to suggest a method as an addition to the collection!