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..."