TVG: 1.21 – Death

Ever stop and consider a game’s treatment of death? We’re talking death as a game mechanic, death as a story element, or maybe death as a game theme. Death abounds!

This week, we look at death in games and how it’s incorporated into a variety of genres. We also explore how the treatment of death in games has evolved over time, and how our preferences for its inclusion as a game mechanic have changed as we’ve become stuffy adults with full schedules. Various salient examples of death handled trivially or in a frustrating manner are discussed and contrasted with what we think are some better approaches.

We also go over some other fine video game traditions such as permadeath, limited vs infinite continues, forced backtracking as punishment for player death, uninformed choices that lead to instadeath, and inconsistencies with narrative death and game mechanic death (we’re wincing at you, Final Fantasy VII).

Also, how many times can you say “death” in one podcast description?