I was hoping that we would discuss the Klastrup essay in class today not necessarily because it was an unbelievably engaging text, but just because I really felt like venting about how often I die in World of Warcraft. While I understand Klastrup’s argument that death in the game is a penalty with minimal consequences, but still enough to bring the gamer frustration that keeps them fueled, I personally thinks this applies to the more experienced gamers in the world. Since experienced gamers have a deep understanding of the world, a death often comes from a critical error and the gamer will make the necessary changes to fix this mistake. However, as someone who is completely new to the game I feel completely powerless to prevent my death and is an aspect that stops me from truly diving into the world of Azeroth.
First off, most of my deaths come when I am only trying to go from place to place. Making the trivialness of travel even more painful, a bear will come out of nowhere and maul the shit out of me. Death in video games is usually a learning opportunity, a way to develop proper technique so that you prevent these deaths in the future. Yet death in World of Warcraft often feels random or while playing in dungeons or battlegrounds way too frequent and unable to be corrected. What’s even worse, you often have to travel long distances to retrieve your body. Once you do this, you are spawned in the same position you died with lower health and the same damn bear there ready to attack again. The reason that video games are so appealing is because it gives us feelings of power and control that we can’t get in the real world. In World of Warcraft though, I feel powerless to stop my frequent deaths and is a main reason that this game doesn’t have the appeal for me that it would for more experienced gamers.