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November 3, 2009 / Joe Osborne

Coffee Talk: Should Death Mean More In Today’s Games?

Pac Man Game Over

Photography by Mykl Roventine

A few contributors to the video games blogosphere have been in a buzz for the past week over a few issues pertaining to MMOs, which has garnered the attention of Massively as well as Creative Director for 38 Studios (you know, MLB pitcher Curt Schilling’s super secret studio), Steven Danuser. While several topics are currently being discussed, the umbrella issue at hand seems to be that something is missing from today’s MMOs: the possibility of failure.

Which got me thinking, this could be seen as an issue in not only MMOs, but games of all genres. It also got me thinking that I cannot think of a single game currently on the market nor in the past that explores this possibility. Granted, there have been games in the past and currently which punish you for failure, but it never has affected the game’s narrative nor its gameplay directly. Since you all know how I feel about Heavy Rain and how Quantic Dream is approaching death I won’t even mention – dammit!

So, take a gander at what these poignant bloggers are discussing and come on back here and lets us know what you think in a broader context. What if death meant more in video games? If death actually changed the landscape or narrative of a game, how would it change gameplay and not only that, design? Know of a game that out there that addresses this idea? Let us know about it or simply speak your mind in the comments section. Who knows, maybe some developers are reading what you have to say right now (creepy, huh?).

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