While the former example has arguably adheres to narrative at the expense of gameplay quality—many believe that the lack of a gameplay consequence to death hurts the Bioshock experience—the latter has created punishment mechanisms for the player’s death. The mission must be reattempted, the players funds have been diminished, and (if arrested) the player’s weapons have been removed. The reason or possibility of resurrection need not be plausible within the real world—a certain amount of suspension of disbelief is in order. However, the useful aspect of this solution is that the level dissonance between the player’s death and the game’s narrative is reduced. The player does not need to mentally separate the moments when the videogame is being “a game” and when it’s being “a story.”
I propose that the age of “unexplained resurrection,” must come to a end, at least if the developer hopes to form a cohesive game-world that is interlinked with its narrative elements. This imperative is not meant to apply to all videogames—different games have different goals. Some games are meant to be more “gamey”, while others are meant to be strong narrative experiences—and it is in this latter category which the developer must strongly consider the importance of integrating gameplay mechanisms with narrative structure, especially with respect to death as a gameplay mechanic.
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