The reality of malaria and its debilitating symptoms (ultimately death -- if untreated) forces the player to interact with non-threatening characters, in turn, exploiting the urge to anthropomorphize the AI. Human conditions are recreated through these interactions. A few doses might be exchanged for, say, travel papers. The civilians don't simply operate as the game's 'store,' but function as "micronarrative" elements who bring life to the gameworld -- like, the desperation inherent in a war-torn country. But Ubisoft Montreal doesn't "presume to know what's in the player's heart." Whether you obtain the papers simply to quell the fevers and convulsions, or instead come to sympathize with the civilian's helpless condition, the developers provide the space for freedom of experience. You've got malaria. Deal with it.