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Treatment of Life and Death in Videogames

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I read this interesting article called Loss of Death: Suicide in Videogames. It was fascinating because it brings up the question of how we treat death in video games. The author (Ryan Kuo) poses the question:

The vignette raises questions about the way that games treat life and death — questions that still haven’t been answered. Does a surfeit of lives cheapen our notion of life, rendering it as easily dispensable as coins or bullets? Or is the cycle of life, death, and resurrection a rich platform for contemplation?

Kind of a big question isn’t it? What does the perception of having multiple lives in games have on the human psyche? Furthermore, what would happen if we took that vital piece of integrated gameplay out of gaming altogether?

Personally I think the removal of multiple lives from gaming would cause a kind of outcry in the gaming universe at first. I think perhaps a few gamers would enjoy the challenge of trying to survive without dying through the whole game…but they would be a minority in the gaming world. Such games, I feel, wouldn’t survive (pun intended).

Humans want to be allowed to make mistakes. They want to be redeemed of those mistakes. I think that is a great appeal for gamers. Gaming offers the do-over we don’t get in real life. That is why I game personally. Then again, I cannot really allow my feelings on the matter to be the standard for the gaming world.

Leave your thoughts below.