Best of the Moving Pixels Podcast

The Value of Death in Video Games

by G. Christopher Williams

22 February 2016

Death can have value in video games. It sets boundaries, serves to punish us and to teach us, and it might even be a source of pleasure.
Limbo (Playdead, 2010) 

A couple of weeks ago, we ran our first “Best of the Moving Pixels Podcast” episode, a series in which we intend to reach into our archives and pull out some of our more interesting discussions from the past. We began on a rather upbeat note with a discussion of love and relationships, so we figured it might be good to balance our optimism with a seemingly more pessimistic topic, death in video games.

To be honest, though, given the unlimited lives made possible by this medium, death becomes a less than inevitable outcome in the world of video games and may serve several rather interesting functions. Thus, in this episode, we considered the value of death in games, as a possible lose-state, as a form of punishment, as a way of learning, or even sometimes as a form of pleasure.
  
This episode features regular contributors G. Christopher Williams and Nick Dinicola, along with the long, lost voice of former PopMatters contributor Thomas Cross.

This podcast is also available via Soundcloud.

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