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Virtual Game Killing: A New Perception


We know that eggheads sometimes get crazy and pick up the unlikeliest topics to write a research paper. One such paper is about the different types of video game deaths, and their co relation with the rush of hormones that bring forth a giddy rush.

At first glance, the conclusions seem to be totally counter-intuitive. Gamers like it when they are killed, and they enjoy the different and convoluted ways in which their character dies. While we don’t want to believe that, the elaborate set up rigged by the Niklas Ravajas leaves no room for ambiguity. Thirty-six gamers were wired up sensors while they were doing what they did best. Based on the readings of the sensors, Ravajas found that gamers cringe involuntary when they shoot their enemies while gloat when they get killed. Well, not exactly gloat but more like breathe easier. This is because the paper reasons that games have become more stressful as levels become tougher and the players have to fight more to save their skin. At one point of time this caper gets too much to handle and subconsciously the players start to think, enough is enough and run into a wall of hot lead or lasers and get blasted to Kingdom Come.

In fact, some game designers have taken the trouble to craft death sequences which make it worthwhile to die. Games like Halo 3 switch the camera angle as you die so it’s like an out of body experience as you see yourself zapped by lasers or blasted by grenades, falling down in slow motion.

Admit it—you always wanted to do that after seeing how Tom Hanks died in Saving Private Ryan, or how Ken Watanabe and company went down in that final charge in The Last Samurai.

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