Zwischen Hindernis und Spielelement. Der Umgang mit dem Tod des Avatars in Videospielen

Autor: Janna Tillmann
[erschienen in: IMAGE 24 (Ausgabe Juli 2016)]

At first video games incorporated the death of the avatar only to earn money, as you had to buy ›new lives‹ whenever your avatar died. There was no narrative function to this concept. Because of that the death of the avatar was no element of the game, but merely a way to hinder the progress of the player. Nowadays arcades have been made nearly obsolete by consoles and PC, so there is no necessity to use the death of the avatar to earn money as the arcades did. This creates great opportunities for game developers to find new ways to deal with the death of the avatar. There are still games with a death-counter, but they are the minority. It's more common to integrate the death either as a ludic or narrative feature of the game. What is missing are ways to combine the narrative and ludic functions of the death of the avatar even though that would be the next logical step. The so called ›videogame death‹ could give games a clear distinction to other genres of media and would also emphasize the interactivity that is special to videogames.

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