It's that time of year again, a time when Defunct Games celebrates the holidays by posting a daily theme article that should inform and delight gamers all over the world. This year we're taking a look at the video game cliche, the type of thing we've seen time and time again in all generations of gaming. Is this cliche realistic? Does it need to go away? These are the types of questions Defunct Games will be asking over the next month. Join us as we celebrate this joyous season with the 34 Cliches of Christmas!
BioShock is not only one of the best games of 2007, it also is the perfect game to represent the cliche of extra lives!
As Seen In:
Super Mario Bros., Sonic the Hedgehog, BioShock, Crackdown, Mega Man, Ghosts N Goblins, World of Warcraft, Half-Life 2, Halo, and literally every other video game ever made!
What Is It?
Had you had only stumbled to the alley a few seconds later you would still be alive. But due to your bad timing you got there right as the angry pack of wild rats were looking for somebody to kill. And now you're dead, being devoured by hungry wild rats. But wait a second, you're not dead any more ... you're back from the dead and ready to continue on with your mission to save the princess from some big lizard monster. You don't think about why you're living again, you just keep doing the things you were doing hoping to not suffer the same fate. Why question a good thing when you can die and then come back from the dead? The good news is that you can die a few more times and be resurrected, because that's how it works when you have extra lives. And don't worry, even if you run out of those three or four extra guys, you can always continue a few times. Oh, and don't forget about those useful 1-ups that litter your environment. Because if video games teach us anything it's that death is not all that bad, you just have a wait a few minutes and you'll pop back to live.
Is It Realistic?
Okay, let's face it, there's absolutely nothing realistic about having extra lives, the concept is patently ridiculous. However, that doesn't mean that we can't look at it from a couple of different perspectives. Can you imagine how chaotic it would be if everybody in this world had extra lives? You would see people doing crazy things knowing that they can waste
Can you imagine how much more exciting it would be if the Jackass cast didn't have to worry about staying alive?
a couple of lives before buckling down and being responsible. But then again, on the other hand it would make television totally awesome. Every night there would be people on TV doing extremely dangerous stunts not afraid to die. On the other hand, I suppose some could argue that we've pulled people back to life using medical science. But that takes too long, and when was the last time you saw a bunch of EMTs show up when Mario kicked the bucket? And speaking of taking too long, some religions believe that every soul is resurrected after death. So I guess the idea of extra lives is not completely ridiculous in a real world setting, but that doesn't mean that it's as practical as games would like us to believe.
Is It Overused?
I doubt there is another cliche on this list that is more overused than this. Pretty much every game ever made uses the concept of extra guys in one way or another. Yet it's important, it's the one thing that keeps the games fun. And not only that, it's something that separates video games from the real world. Contrary to what anti-game crusader's think, it's extremely easy for everybody (kid and adult alike) to tell the difference between the real world and the fake world. On the other hand, I wouldn't mind seeing the way we deal with extra lives evolve a little. But let's not get rid of the extra lives, it's one of the most important components in video gaming today.