Why do we have to die in games?

Gamers are unequivocal: “Dying gives a game meaning”, say posters on the PC Advisor forums. Markus Montola, a researcher at Tampere University in Finland, takes this further: “You have a motivation – to avoid being annoyed by dying. Motivation is what makes the game meaningful.”



Pete Hines – vice-president at Bethesda, the developer behind the role-playing game Oblivion and its expansion pack, Shivering Isles – agrees. “Having your character die or fail is important because your actions have to have some meaning in the game, and to you.”



But is the death of your character the right way to give a game meaning? Peter Molyneux of Lionhead, the developer of Fable, Black & White and The Movies, says: “A fight has to cost the player something, or it loses its meaning. Previously, that cost was time and tedium [in replaying a level]. But is that the right cost?” —Kate BevanWhy do we have to die in games? (Guardian)