If you've played EverQuest 2 for any period of time you are probablyfamiliar with death. If you were in my group in Sanctum of Scaleborn last night, you would be very familiar. Game mechanics are a frequently underdiscussed aspect of games and death is a primary factor, believe it or not, in what makes a fun game. How does death effect us in EverQuest 2?
MMO guru Raph Koster, in his book "A Theory of Fun" defines a game as "learning in a safe environment." I'll admit before this week I never really tried to define what a game was but it in a profound way it mirrors real life. Certain activities are rewarded while others are punished, and we develop patterns of behavior based on it. For example, taking down the trash cans to the curb the night before, earns me a "Thank you sweetheart" from my wife as reward. Not taking the trash cans to the curb the night before, and missing garbage pick up, earns me weeping and gnashing of teeth.
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