Episode 43 – Permadeath Play Embassy

Episode 43 – Permadeath Play Embassy

For our last episode of the year we taking on endings . . . permanent endings.

Inspired by Andrew Groen’s article, “In These Games Death is Forever and That’s Awesome,” in Wired, we discuss how the mechanic of permadeath might impact all three of our Gamer Types. Listen to the episode and see if you agree with our assessment of how self, role players, and mastery gamers might experience true game loss.

A huge thank you to all our listeners, interviewees, and our fantastic community for supporting our first year of the show. Your input and engagement has been more than inspirational. We look forward to more conversations with you all in 2013!

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Until next time, game on!
Regina & Rhonda

Regina is the founder and lead ambassador of The Geek Embassy. Studying and writing about geeks and geek culture is Regina’s favorite thing to do when she’s not reading student papers, dancing an excessive amount of calories away, or chasing after her daughter. Inclined towards mobile and social gaming online, Regina also loves a good round of 7 Wonders, Qwirkle, Small World, or Lords of Waterdeep. Someday, she hopes to actually take part in a D&D campaign so she can officially “roll” a character and role play her as a devious, highly intelligent mischief maker, which would be nothing like she is in real life.

2 Comments

  1. Permadeath is a defining staple of the Fire Emblem series (which I do not know if you covered in the podcast; I haven't had the time to sample it yet). It is one reason some people get frustrated at the franchise, as going back to repeat the chapter because one character died can happen a lot! I like it, though; it gives me incentive to protect and nurture the cast, and grants me nearly unparalleled attachment. You really care for your characters if they can be permanently removed from the game!

  2. Okay, I reviewed the gamer types to try to identify myself for this discussion and guess I'd have to say I'm mostly self with some mastery – though I think I have a different definition of mastery. Anyways.
    I agree that having permadeath probably makes the game more realistic – but as Regina and Rhonda have mentioned, games can be a great escape – taking a quick break to change your thinking, killing things to get over a bad mood, etc. I definitely appreciate gaming as a break from reality – and as such, I think having it be more "realistic" would make it less fun for me. As one of the hosts mentioned, part of the fun is taking chances you can't take in real life, like leaping from heights or picking fights with giant NPCs :D. Permadeath would indeed make the consequences more realistic – and – for me at least – take some of the fun out of doing risky things. Just like in real life, the risk would outweigh the reward. A large part of gaming's appeal for me is that I can take risks I'd never take in real life. I believe they said the article called having your choices affected by the fact that your character might actually die emotional reasoning and said it would change the way you played the character. Personally, I know I sometimes don't take the leap in WoW because my healer's not with me and I don't want to have to run back to find my body :P. I suspect that if I knew taking risks in an MMO might result in permadeath, I would end up paralyzed by the fear of losing my character and so wouldn't advance because I'd be afraid to to anything that might kill me…

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