When Death Loses Meaning

I was reading this article today to enlighten my perspective for my proposal and final paper topic. I thought it was an interesting read. Figured I’d share.


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2 Responses to When Death Loses Meaning

  1. cso9 says:

    I like how they referred to death in video games, in the present day, as a “minor inconvenience.”
    Especially so, the thought-provoking question,
    “How much can we really care about characters, or take joy in their successes, if their lives are treated with such cavalier disregard?”

    This is such an interesting topic because death used to be the primary thing to avoid in video games. I agree, that now, it’s only one aspect of a game (for the most part). In reference to the question I quoted above, I cannot even provide a valuable answer. The debt of dying in older games seemed so much more severe than today. The player would have to replay quests, reacquire items, or worse, start from the very beginning. Although these consequences made for some really frustrating gameplay, I’d have to agree that this is exactly what made progression so much more rewarding. Not to mention, the possibility of dying made the games, for me, that much more realistic. The fear of dying was so much more prevalent, more potent, that when I had finally succeeded or beat the game, I had a huge weight off my shoulders, an immense sense of relief. I think that value in video games is certainly faded as death becomes more skewed in today’s games, but hey, to each his own.

    I’d be interested in hearing more about your topic and your thoughts on it!


  2. kab248 says:

    In What Makes WoW a World by Lisbeth Klastrup, she argues that characters have dramatic deaths so that the player can empathize with their avatar. For example, when you drown in WoW, your avatar grabs at his neck like he’s actually drowning. I believe that a lot of games try to capture sentiment through their character’s emotions so that the player can better relate. In First Person Shooters like Call of Duty, when you are hurt, you’re character can be heard panting and the screen is filled with blood. And when you die, you’re screen fills up with blood – imagine the blood wash screen in the 007 games where you’re character is falling over while blood drips down the screen.


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