Increasing the difficulty of a video game in the conventional way is easy. Itís as simple as addiction and subtraction. Add enemies, take away bullets. Add dragons, take away potions. Normally, bolstering a gameís challenge can often be akin to just telling the player to go to the other end of a hallway, giving them a time limit, and then knocking over a few trashcans in their way. But permadeath is something from a different realm entirely.
It doesnít just make things harder, but makes them different. It injects a powerful sense of significance to every action, applies earnest weight to every choice, regardless of how minute. With it, there is no such thing as a small victory. Your sense of success is bolstered not just with every complete level, but with every individual second you reamin breathing. Just getting your character from one room to the next is enough to make you feel like youíve already won the game. With permadeath, every sigh of relief or involuntary cheer of success is authentic, poignant, and worth all the difficulty of its achievement. So check your skepticism, dust off a favorite game, and give a peramdeath run a go.
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