Thoughts on Death in Warcraft

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.

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3 Responses to Thoughts on Death in Warcraft

  1. amd197 says:

    You may think that you are powerless to prevent your death, but as Dr. Fest has instructed us and as I have surely observed myself while playing the game, updating your armor is a simple and easy way to decrease the frequency of death.While you say that dying does not fuel you enough to improve your game-play, it does seem as if death is a major frustration for you, which is exactly Klastrup’s point. Death will always be a frustration and somewhat of a waste of game-play time, but the only way to prevent that from happening so that you may truly explore the world, of Azeroth, is to learn to perform at a higher level in the game and improve your armor every time that the opportunity arises.


  2. epiratequeen says:

    I’ve definitely felt the same frustration regarding dying in the game. It’s definitely irritating, but I think it’s also a useful learning experience. I had plenty of experiences getting killed by forest animals while travelling until I learned that it’s safer to travel on the roads. Now, many levels later, I was trying to get a forest animal to kill me so that I could do some in-game research for my second essay, but the beast’s level was too low and when I tried to get it to attack me, I ended up killing it with one shot. I think that death in the game is more about learning than weakness.


  3. devilzadv0k8 says:

    It irks me that death in games is called “death” when it is absolutely nothing like what death actually is. Death is permanent (let’s keep religion out of this, just for arguments sake). There is no, learning from your death, or recovering from your death or starting over–all the things death in gaming allows for. Why call it death at all? Why not “set back” or “failure” or “knock out” all of theses seem more appropriate. The only similarity death in WOW bares to death in real life is that both come about through bodily harm.


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