Heroes never die!

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After writing my book ‘Laat met je merk spelen’ – soon to be published in English (end of 2010, called A Brand New Playground), I have started to become more philosophical and keep thinking why games are so special to me and to hundreds of millions of people around the globe…
Today I had an insight why games are so cool and the reason is that in games ‘heroes never die’… comparable to most books, comics and films. We love heroic creatures and wished they live forever, protecting the world from harm.
It is only in real life that our life is so precious (we have only one). Still – our best friends, fathers, mothers, sons and daughters die even though they’ve done nothing wrong. In epic films like Lord of the Rings, some heroes die (Boromir), but the real heroes (Frodo and his friends, Aragorn and Gandalf) fortunately don’t. I wonder how we would feel if they would all die and we would have to start to get to know new ‘heroes’ in part 2 and part 3 of the book / film…
How would you feel if you buy a RPG or action game and after playing it for ten minutes, your hero dies and the game is truly ‘game-over’? Would you be angry? Or would you accept it and buy the game again (or choose a new / different hero)? I guess you would be really disappointed and angry. How much is a virtual life worth? Wouldn’t you be much more cautious playing Call of Duty if you would have to pay a dollar for each life you spoil? It would make the gameplay much more interesting I guess, because the ‘stakes are higher’. Maybe it would even be interesting if you gain 50 cents for each kill you make, compensating the costs you make for each life you spoil… ? And the more kills you get, the harder it would be for people to kill you (a build-in experience/skill-model, like in Fallout 3 for instance).
It would be interesting to see if a game-developer would take the chances of developing a game with these mechanics in it!

1 reply to “Heroes never die!”

  1. Anonymous says:

    >Congrats on the book and good luck with the blog. I'm not a very active gamer anymore, but still enjoyed reading your blog, and the idea of using games as a marketing tool appeals to me as well.

    I wonder though, how about Manga? Heroes die (and are revived) in manga games and movies all the time, but that doesn't seem to make the genre less popular. Is it the fact that they usually die in glory that makes it ok?

    Also, I don't like the whole "credit-based" gaming concept, e.g. facebook credits and World of Warcraft. Facebook probably makes a huge profit on these credits, which allows them to improve the game. Still, I like games where you can gain the upper hand by playing better rather than paying extra. And if playing bad would mean losing actual (real life) money, FPS-gaming would soon be restricted to pro players only (not much fun getting killed by pros and losing money at the same time because you're a noob right :))?

    Cheers Maarten D.

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