Despite the fact that the aesthetic of sacrifice has had a lot of mileage, few videogames have managed to build ones as rewarding as the literary and cinematic greats. Why do videogame sacrifices almost always turn out to be disappointing, arbitrary distractions that are unpleasant to engage with? Even if it means travelling into scary woods cottages, more than one type of dystopic future, and the worst, most poorly thought out bowels of the Fallout universe, Adam Milliard, “The Architect of Games” is determined to find out.
Sacrifice in video games is the controversial subject, mainly because it is not always spelled out for the player to comprehend. Sacrifice behavior can take different forms depending on which game, console or platform it’s found on, but most games that contain sacrifice give the player choices to make that will affect either themselves or other characters in the game.
Sacrifice in video games does not necessarily mean killing other characters in the game. When another character is killed, it is usually done so within the context of achieving a goal or objective set forth to complete the game’s story line. However, there are some examples where players must kill other characters in order to save their own life.
Sacrifice can also be seen as selfless conduct, where the player can give themselves up for another character.
It is usually seen as a good trait or moral to have within the game’s story line because it means that they are showing concern for other characters around them even if it does put their own life at risk.
If the sacrifice behavior is not performed then it can lead to different or more difficult story paths or outcomes.
Sacrifice has been a component of human society since the dawn of time, and it has taken on a variety of shapes as the concept has evolved and changed: personal, emotional, financial… as well as a few more grizzly variations. But, given our culture’s long history with sacrifice, they’ve always been regarded as emotional, dramatic, and unforgettable moments that define a story… so why can’t the same be said of videogames?