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What The Constant Failure Of  Demon's Souls  Teaches Us

What The Constant Failure Of Demon's Souls Teaches Us Exclusive

November 29, 2011 | By Staff

November 29, 2011 | By Staff
More: Console/PC, Exclusive, Design

In her latest Five Minutes Of... column, Hide&Seek's Margaret Robertson writes about how the punishingly hard Dark Souls predecessor can teach us important things about how games -- and life -- work.

"Gamers on the whole are good at failure. We do it a lot, for fun -- or we certainly used to, before recharging health and infinite checkpoints," writes Robertson.

She gave up Demon's Souls due to her constant failures at the legendary game, she admits.

"And so I abandoned it, not sure if I was smarter than those who'd been transfixed by it, or just weaker. But now Dark Souls is out... Before I could go on I would have to go back, and to my enormous surprise, I found that I wanted to."

What did she learn? "There are strong arguments to be made that this experience is one of the great virtues of games, one of the great reasons they aren't wasted time and empty power fantasies."

"Going back to Demon's Souls made me realize I've spent all year playing failure games. Minecraft. Shiren the Wanderer. Desktop Dungeons. Dungeon Raid. Most recently The Binding of Isaac. These are games where failure is inevitable. Where progress is impossible without it. Where there is no success beyond the things you learn and the stuff you gather. Where the only victory is learning how to coexist productively with failure."

What else did Demon's Souls and these games teach Robertson -- about being a better game developer, not just being a better player? Read the full feature, live now on Gamasutra, and find out.

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