21 comments on “Why dying in Video Games is pointless

  1. I had a good think about this myself at one point, but finding a solution to please all is hard. I had a similar problem with death when playing amnesia; getting caught by enemies was actually less scary than successfully hiding out of sight.

  2. Do you remember back when they spoke to the Metal Gear developers and creators and they said something along the lines of “if we had our way, your detection and subsequent death at the hands of the enemy would delete your saved game and force a restart” As frustrating as this would be if you were killed late on, imagine the sheer levels of tension it would replicate!

      • lol it would end up being a ritual where you played for an hour and only moved through one room! I totally agree with the Slender man approach and I like the DayZ emphasis on survive at all costs, not all games should follow suit but horror really needs to up the ante in this department!

  3. I feel like so much is lost in modern gaming because the majority of games out there have very little risk versus reward built into them. Instead, when you die – you often click a button labeled ‘respawn’, and proceed about your way with little to no inconvenience. Good post!

  4. Have you played Demon Souls or Dark Souls? Apparently they have made dying more penalizing than other games. And I agree with the approach. I’ve played many a game where I simply go out guns a blazing to gauge the difficulty of a certain area. If it’s easy, I make it. If not, I’m back and cautious.

    There is a game called “Asheron’s Call” that was one of the first MMORPGs. I think they did a really good job at making dying suck. You lost 5% of your skills (up to 40% if you died multiple times in a row), and many of your items. The skills you had to gain back by through experience and your items could only be retrieved by traveling back to your corpse. And these items were not just random: your most expensive item, your main weapon, a piece of armor you were wearing, etc. If you were killed by another player, your items were looted and that was that. Dying sucked.

  5. “allow people to immerse themselves further into virtual realities.” I think this phrase here is why there is death in video games. With death there is at least a couple minutes of disconnect from the alternate reality…without death where is the line drawn between worlds? I mean I’ve heard of gamers in Korea wearing diapers whilst playing MMORPGs! Dying…like for realz!

  6. The procedurally generated PC game A Valley Without Wind handled death by letting you pull from a pool of characters who once dead were dead and you had to play on as a completely different person. But if you went back to where a character died you would have to face their vengeful ghost who were often very powerful compared to other enemies. In that way, death was a punishment without ending your game completely.

  7. I think games to tend to lower the implications of how death should impact you. But if you jump 50ft into a darkened precipise, you shouldn’t expect to jump up, and dance a merry little jig, as though nothing ever happened? It’s a case of being decensitised by continueous play. When I was younger, A Nighmare on Elm street terrirfied me…..now, its nothing more than an afternoon movie. Great article by the way!

  8. Oh my gawd… tracking deaths? Brilliant and horrible idea all at once. What if the number of times you died affected your skill level? For example, similar to how jail time negatively affects your skills in Skyrim or Elder Scrolls? Or what if you lost whatever weapon or armor you were wearing at your death? ACK never mind that second idea would make me cry. I would end up running around naked fighting with a pointy stick…

  9. Pingback: Meaningful Choices: Catwoman DLC and Arkham City « Cyber Femmes

  10. Pingback: Meaningful Choices: Catwoman DLC and Arkham City - Feminism/Geekery

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