Why do we have to die in games? | Technology | Guardian Unlimited Technology: "Dying in real life is - religious beliefs aside - the end, the last event you'll take part in. Not so in computer games, where it's never worse than briefly infuriating. In World of Warcraft, the massively multiplayer online roleplaying game (MMORPG) that 8.5 million people play every day, your death just means you have to spend several minutes trekking back to the point at which you died. And your avatar is temporarily weakened. It's an inconvenience.
But why is in-game 'dying' necessary at all? Alternatively, why isn't dying in a game as final as it is in real life? In MMORPGs, the latter is in part at least simply answered: it's economics. From Blizzard's point of view, if in-game death were final, people would stop coughing up their monthly subscription. And the vibrant in-game economy depends to a certain extent on death and regeneration: when your avatar comes back to life, your weapons are damaged and need repairing - for which you pay a fee."
Interesting little article about 'dying' in games. It strikes me that death in games is the equivalent of a toddler's interpretation of what death is all about. Gone today, here tomorrow. Death is just a word to a little one and fairly meaningless at that. But it also occurs to me that there's nothing really new as far as computer games are concerned. What about traditional games. Chess? Don't you 'kill' the other player's pieces? Or hangman. The poor guy dies if you're not successful! Maybe the answer isn't too deep at all? We die in a game because it's easier to make a symbolic clean break so we can start afresh? We die in a game because it's make believe and games are about invention and imagination.
By the way... can you die in Second Life? Or is a 'real' computer game death too unpalatable?