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Death in Games: Escape or Excuse?

GamesAreEvil writes, "Death, when in the context of games, is a mechanic that at it's core is meant to be a punishment for failure. After all, if you're laying waste to massive numbers of enemy troops, be it in Real Time Strategy games or the myriad of Shooters that have come out lately, there really is no better way to say 'you've failed.' This usually results in stopping you in your tracks and sending you back to wherever you last saved, or the last checkpoint you reached. That effectively says you haven't met the standard that the difficulty you're playing requires. There are obvious exceptions to this rule; all racing games, puzzle games, and some RPGs will initiate some other consequence other than death, but they essentially give the same result. However, there are times when death is used in other ways..."

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CrAppleton3193d ago

Great read! It's funny how little death really affects games..

bgrundman3193d ago

Or in some cases, how it doesn't.

Neco5123193d ago

Yeah seems like it doesn't in most cases

CrAppleton3192d ago

True.. I didn't think about that.. most times it doesn't matter at all.. back in the day (NES) if you died a lot.. you were f*cked

bgrundman3193d ago

This is an interesting look into how death is really a game mechanic that seen unnecessary.

Neco5123192d ago

Some games don't use this mechanic at all (Prince of Persia)

bgrundman3192d ago

I am glad it didn't because the game was pretty sorry as it was, if they added frustration, it might have just done me in!

kingme713192d ago

I will say I loved the aesthetics of PoP and found it was a unique game. My complaint about never dying just ruined the suspension of disbelief though.

thor3192d ago

In Prince of Persia you can die.

If you fall of a cliff, you "die" in the same way as in any other game, the checkpoints are just put a bit closer together.

What if, in KZ2, instead of showing you dying when you got shot, it showed a mythical creature lifting you up and taking you back to the last checkpoint? Same end result right?

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reluctant_gamer3192d ago

Very interesting... something we don't think about alot.

MaCkTeHkNiFe3192d ago

Mei Ling: "I'm having a bad feeling..... I think you should save."

I feel sorry to anyone who didn't heed THAT foreshadowing!

Great article, they don't make Death like they used to.

supercharger51503192d ago

My dad was playing Goldeneye with me once and he shot me, once. And he'd thought he won and was confused as to how I kept going/playing... Cause he said "In real life you'd be dead." lol
So to be realistic maybe Death should have more impact like it did in the NES/SNES days. How many people would give up on those games though?

gaminoz3192d ago

I think Operation Flashpoint is doing something like that.

I don't mind death being slower or not existing myself. Those old school games used to frustrate me so much that they simply were not fun. Thank God for better save points and thinking outside the box.

If in PofP I had died all those mis-timed jumps or poor camera angle jumps, I would have thrown my controller again like the old days.

Maybe that makes me less hardcore, but I play for fun not achievement.

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