After getting burned out out of video games and not being able to come back to them because of depression hitting hard, video games stopped bringing me joy as they did before: i was afraid of playing games that had an explicit failure state in them.
If i failed in a game, i would start beating myself mentally for not being able to deal with the challenge. I needed to stop playing video games for a while.
So it made me to start thinking how players interact with the games and how a failure state became such a cliche in video games.
Why in many games it is explicitly said that you’ve made a mistake? That you did not do well enough? When the game restarts you at a previous checkpoint after your HP turns to zero or you weren’t able to do a mission on time or any other superficial conditions, the game acknowledges that you’ve failed, that you’ve made a mistake, and it forces you to try again.
What if I don’t want to deal with my failings? What if I don’t want to try to deal with them again? What if I just want to move on and accept that I can’t deal with it?
Video games never really give you a choice to continue after failing, it’s always the repetition. The only way to disengage is to stop playing.
Although failure states are not always restarting from the checkpoint (it can also be not being able to figure out the solution to the puzzle in a point-and-click adventure game, or seeing “defeat” in a multiplayer game which encourages you to try again), games never let you cope with your failure. You can only find the solution to the problem.
But if the problem is you, it’s hard to try again.
Waypont forum, what do you think about the failure states? Are they mandatory? Are they not?
I would really like to see your opinions on the matter!