Valve‘s recent decision allowing developers to permanently ban players from their games could have an impact beyond simply preventing cheaters – and it could lead to better storytelling.
Playing games should be fun. In order to ensure the best possible online multiplayer experience, Valve allows developers to implement their own systems that detect and permanently ban any disruptive players, such as those using cheats.
The game developer highlights the player they want to ban and sends the details to Valve, who then applies the block. Valve does not need to know why the ban has been requested, and simply pulls the virtual trigger.
But. What if this new ability was used for something more than just banning cheaters or other no-goods?
RPG developers have toyed with the idea of “permadeath” for years – the permanent death of a character, no respawns, no reincarnations, no save points. Typically speaking, gamers who experience permadeath can then restart the game as someone different and start again. But what if that was not an option?
What if you only got one chance to play the game, and once you died – like in real life – that was it?
This sort of game obviously wouldn’t be for everybody, but there is certainly an audience looking for a one-off experience. Valve‘s new Game Ban system could make this a relatively simple reality. The developer keeps track of everyone who dies in the game, and prevents them from ever booting up again.
It takes “YOLO” to a new level, don’t you think?