Re: To Smithereens - a board game developing
I loved this response, so thanks.
Here's my 'table-game death' vs. 'video-game death' theory:
A competitive multi-player video game rarely conflates 'death' with outcome-significance; you only really die after you've died 20 times, or 30 times, or whatever. So, ultimately, multiplayer mode simply does not invoke the concept of "death," in any recognizable form — or, rather: does not invoke the concept of life.
If you have lives, you've entered a different paradigm of life.
Meanwhile, in 'To Smithereens' — or 'Monopoly,' or 'Candyland' — you lose once, and you lose permanently. Your game is over. You're ejected from play, by one of your friends. You're out. You're dead. You're killed. They're not. You're punished with a jail-term on the permanent sidelines, trapped, watching everyone else continue to have fun without you. Yours is the horror of the ghost.
(And that's just the paradigmatic metaphor of most table-games, to say nothing of 'To Smithereens' in particular, where the story metaphor is also death.)
To reformulate and conclude: Generally speaking, competitive table-games give you one life and one death — so, to whatever extent you're 'embodying a life' in a table-game, the nature of that life is, metaphorically, equivalent to your real one. If you wanted a competitive multi-player video game to evoke something closer to the normal-life paradigm, there would be no "multiplayer mode," in the traditional definition; instead, it would be like playing the actual game campaign, with one life — for half an hour? an hour? more? — until one of your friends kills you.
tl;dr — The pain of death is proportional to what's lost.
I have a tendency to fix your typos.