Death in Games – Narrative/Mechanical Synergy

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Video games hold a unique position in media by being directly driven by the actions of its audience. Chose your own adventure type books and interactive movies have tried to achieve this to varying success but are held back by being limited to set outcomes.

Character death has been traditionally a big deal. When the protagonist dies, it is a monumental moment that often marks the end of the narrative. It is emotional and it has meaning. Games are the first medium where death just happens. Sure, narrative death in games holds true to its movie and book counterparts but mechanical death is treated in a very different way.

In early games, death was there as a fail state. The player lost and couldn’t experience the full game. Since each attempt meant another coin into the arcade machine, failure and death were a very common thing. Continue reading

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Dark Souls 3: Bonfire Journals #1.

As a writer and gamer, the idea of writing the personal journey of my character through a game is something that I find interesting. Dark Souls is the perfect kind of game for this as your character is a blank slate, the paths are branching and the narrative is non-intrusive. So I am finally giving it a shot. This is the first part of my adventure through DS3. It goes up to the first boss battle of the game. I would have liked to have gone further but in 30 minutes of play I crashed to desktop eight times. Yeah. Enjoy.


Entry 1:

Life. It takes death to understand it. Disjointed memories form together into a vague semblance of the past and create shadowy shapes that is my personal history. But none of it makes sense. I awoke in a craggy graveyard with only fleeting impressions of who I even was. The only thing that I was sure of was that I was clad in leather armour and had a shield and scimitar at my side. They feel natural in my grasp like extensions of my arms. I can only assume that they are mine.

Alone without identity. This is true loneliness, without even your own memories or personality to keep your ragged thoughts company. Who am I? Where am I? Where should I go? These questions settled upon me like crows. Without any clear direction though I could only sit with my shallow mind or move forward and hope. Hopeā€¦ Continue reading