Mass Effect 2 is a popular computer role-playing game that has registered industry praise and academic attention for its compelling narrative and diverse cast of characters. This MRP examines how the design of the Mass Effect 2 game supports the potential for fostering civic engagement in its players via the gameplay and narrative design. Labov’s model (1997) of narrative structure of stories and narrative capacities (Frank 2010) originating from socionarrative
theory provides the key narrative concepts to guide my analysis of the design decisions that went into the construction of the Mass Effect 2 world. Concepts of cooperation, reciprocity, and trust are used in conjunction with a qualitative content analysis to determine the existence of these aspects within the narrative of the game. This MRP will establish that the narrative structures and narrative capacities are used to catalyze concepts of cooperation, reciprocity, and
trust in an effort to solve conflicts and promote acts that are civic in nature between its characters. Additionally, it will offer insight into how civic engagement is communicated in the Mass Effect 2 game.