When is death in a game about more than dying?

Character death is one of the most common elements across videogames and most treat it in the same way: you lose a life or you lose some progress and are sent back to a checkpoint. This rings true for everything from Mario to the Last of Us, Gears of War to Resident Evil.

Death can be so much more, however, as the recent PS5 release of Demon's Souls has again reminded us. It can be a source of contemplation and re-imagining, a new beginning and a means of real narrative intrigue. It can change the very way we perceive and the experience a game in ways that are valuable and rewarding, as opposed to acting solely as a punishment.

In this episode we look at the ways that death in games can be, and are, made interesting and why it's important that something so ubiquitous be given a little extra focus.

Come chat to us on Twitter @IndieByDesign and tell us your thoughts on death in games and which games have impressed you when it comes to how dying works.

A video version of this podcast is available at https://www.youtube.com/c/indiebydesign

Music by Ben Prunty.

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