Death in videogames
April 19, 2009

I realise now that I haven't posted about even doing this feature, let alone that it's up.

A couple of months ago I had the idea for a big feature about the philosophy of videogames. Planning this made me realise there were far too many avenues to explore than one feature would allow, so I decided to split it into a series of smaller articles. Then the only thing I could form any real opinions on was the portrayal of death in videogames, so the mammoth essaying became a single feature.

Then I couldn't even be bothered to come up with my own opinions, so got Kieron Gillen, John Walker, Ludwig Keitzmann and Michael Samyn to do most of the talking instead.

The result was a thoroughly fascinating discussion with an abundance of radically different opinions. Kieron and John largely fought the "games as entertainment" floor, arguing that, while it's nice to see mature and moving portrayals of death in games, that most games don't strive to this isn't inherently problematic. Samyn took the opposite view: that games present a terribly closed-minded approach towards the notion of killing, one that reminds him of certain political regimes, and one that only serves to ignore a serious issue. Keitzmann, meanwhile, eschewed much discussion of this, and looked at whether or not player death in games even makes sense in the context of a linear narrative. All were fascinating and well-argued.

The result is this, 2000 words of quotes, commentary and my own thoughts.

I found it all interesting. I hope you will too.

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