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What struck me the most while watching Run Lola Run were the deaths. It seems obvious to me that death is treated in Run Lola Run the same way it is in games. In games, you can just reload from your last save point if you die. You can die and die and die and continue to become ‘alive’ again. You can fail at one level until you finally succeed and move onto the next one. I’m just imagining a game in which if you die, you die forever. You have one shot. I doubt it would be successful. Death is avoidable. Death is repeatable. Death in video games is way more in line with what Ndalianis refers to as Neo-Baroque than the Classic model (more open versus closed).

Also, death seems to manifest itself in many different ways in games. In Resident Evil 4, you literally die when zombies kill you; in RPGs, you run out of health points (HP); in Super Mario Bros., you die when you get hit by a creature or fall down a hole. However, death is just one possible ending of a session. In games, death seems to be equated with failure too. In Goldeneye, your session can also end if you fail to complete an objective. In Resident Evil 4, your session can end if the girl you’re trying to protect dies or gets kidnapped. (Also, what precisely is a session? From when you turn the game on to when you turn it off? Here in this post, my use of session means from when you start until you ‘die’).

Death is never final in video games and that is one of the attributes that makes this medium unique from Television and Film. I was thinking about this too: Are video games more like Film or Television? I’ll relate it particularly to one game I played: Resident Evil 4. Resident Evil 4 reminds me of a serial narrative like Lost in a lost of ways. The game is split up into chapters, and those chapters are split into smaller segments, each defined by a save point. This reminds me of a serial narrative in that it is split into episodes, and each episode has its own closed arcs (operating on a episode-episode basis) as well as a progression of information adding to the mythology of the multi-episode arcs (and in Resident Evil 4’s case, arcs that span across the series of games). Also, there seems to be some correlation between the rise of DVDs and games like Resident Evil 4.  When I watched the first season of Lost, I must’ve watched the whole season in two days, watching episode after episode after episode until I was finished. The relationship I see is that DVDs and Video Games allow for more viewer participation. On a DVD, you can pause, you can zoom in, you can rewind, fast-forward, watch certain scenes; you can pick episodes to watch. In a game, particularly Resident Evil, you can save a lot and come back into the game anywhere you want (as long as you have a save point and enough memory on the memory card), generally, you can finish a sequence and then save afterwords, so you can literally play as much or as little as you want. I think what’s important is that the viewer / the player is given the power to choose their interaction with the text.

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