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Permadeath : a review of literature
conference contributionposted on 2013-01-01, 00:00 authored by Amra Taggart, Sophie MckenzieSophie Mckenzie, Michael HobbsMichael Hobbs
This paper explores existing literature concerning permadeath - the permanent in-game death of a playable character. Research concerning the depiction of death in video games is extensive, however research on the underlying concept of death within the magic circle of a game is scarce. Furthermore, although controversial, permadeath more closely connects with the original death concept than general in-game death as it adopts finality, a key characteristic of death. This is significant when we consider successful video games which have delved into deeper philosophical ideas and the realm of art, a deeper exploration of death, and dying, is within the capabilities of the maturing game industry, and may pave the way for unique in-game (death) experiences. To gain a better understanding of the nature of permadeath this paper draws together existing literature, highlights the difficulty of defining permadeath and death's meaning beyond penalty, identifies two approaches to permadeath, and suggests a holistic, interdisciplinary approach in future research.