Death Narratives : A Typology of Narratological Embeddings of Player's Death in Digital Games
|Authors:||Bosman, Frank G.||Abstract:||
Ludologically, the death of the game s protagonist (also known as player s death of avatar death ) is one of the most prominent feedback systems of almost all digital games. It communicates to the player his or her (in)ability to achieve the positive goals that the game has set. While some games penalize failure by removing points, lowering character levels, and/or stripping gear away from the avatar, in-game death is usually no more than a temporal sign of failure, punished by a minor setback. Intrinsically, death seems to have little or no meaning. Some games, like Bioshock (2007), Prince of Persia (2008) Bioshock Infinite (2013) and The Talos Principle (2014), and game series like the Assassin s Creed (2007-2017) and Borderlands (2009-2014), try to provide a narratologically credible embedding for the death of the avatar within the logic of their fictional world and lore ( death narrative ), but the majority of games simply refrain from any such embedding. In this article, I will propose a typology of narratological embeddings of player s death in digital games. The first type takes the concept of in-game death seriously: the player s avatar dies, but the continuity of play is narratologically guaranteed by work-arounds like cloning or copying of the avatar, or otherwise finding a suitable stand-in for the original avatar. The second type, however, circumvents the actual death of the avatar/player by introducing other work-arounds like simulation or external help. The third type does not feature any explicit narratological embedding at all, independent of the player s progress being saved or not (permadeath). Nonetheless, the death of the avatar is not without implicit narratological meaning within the context of this type of game.
|Keywords:||gamevironments; Ludology-narratology; player s death; permadeath||Issue Date:||2018||Journal:||gamevironments||Start page:||12||End page:||52||Band:||9||Type:||Artikel/Aufsatz||ISSN:||2364-382X||URN:||urn:nbn:de:gbv:46-00106979-16||Institution:||Universität Bremen||Faculty:||FB9 Kulturwissenschaften||Institute:||Institut für Religionswissenschaft und Religionspädagogik|
|Appears in Collections:||Forschungsdokumente|
checked on Jan 23, 2022
checked on Jan 23, 2022
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