Monday, May 23, 2011

Games are about Death

I really just want to promote this very nice post at What Games Are. The Blog, generally, has very good posts. Few, however, are as thougt inspiring as this one. I don't actually agree with it completely. But it certainly is a very unique perspective.

However games depict change, not stasis, and a key part of understanding change is the perception that in some ways, yes, life is indeed cheap. It is an inescapable facet of existence that we see death all around us every day, and since art is a mirror that reflects existence, death tends to be a game’s inner subject. As love is essentially the inner subject of all songs, and the quest is the inner subject of all stories, so death is the inner subject of all games.


  1. Hence why I ultimately think games have to have PvP element. It feeds on our monkey brain desire to dominate others. Its natural. Its dynamic.

    I think it could be almost as good as the "achievement crack" if exploited correctly

  2. Isn't death more of just a metaphor for defeat in most games - akin to checkmate in a chess game. When someone *really* dies there is an irrevocable loss that can't be retrieved and you certainly don't get that feeling when characters are rezzed a few seconds later.

    When a permanent death does occur it creates a totally different impression - I still can't forgive Arenanet for killing off Togo in Guild Wars Factions :).