Controlling Fear

by Steve Bowler on January 17, 2009 · 9 comments

in general

I’ve been putting a lot of thought into control and how successful the player feels using that control lately.  Part of it came up when I read that Cliffy B was thinking of doing a horror game, part of it came up when I read Jerry’s short take on Dead Space (and how it’s not a horror game), and part of it is due to some things I can’t talk about, so we’ll just chalk it up to me just thinking about combat a lot lately, especially how it relates to horror games, or anytime a game asks the player to be afraid.  The following is more me documenting my thoughts for later reference, as I’m sure a lot of folks out there have already come to these conclusions.

Fear is a tough emotion to ask our players to have, especially when it relates to gaming.  Gaming is almost entirely about “success.”  How successful does the player feel?  Typically, if the player doesn’t feel good and successful about the game they’re playing, they’ll stop playing it.  They won’t recommend it to friends.  They pan it on forms and boards.  So as developers we’ve grown accustomed to players feeling successful.  It’s good for us and our industry.

We can argue that fear involves scaring the player.  Things that go “boo” or jump out at the player, or are visually horrifying to look at.  Those things aren’t really within the realm of design, but simply using art or a player’s own base instincts against them.  In the end these things get old, and players get conditioned against them.  If we want to ask how we can use core design techniques to scare a player, I think we need to analyze that fear stems not only from a lack of success, but primarly, from a lack of control.  We can take this literally to mean the controller in the player’s hands, but additionally it can mean a lack of control over a situation, or even an absence of control altogether.

The latter two examples above we can see in horror films.  The viewer has no control over the protagonists in the film, and is essentially on a ride, experiencing what the protagonist experiences by proxy.  The Blair Witch Project accomplishes this through a lot of use of first person cameras, and keeping the viewer in the dark about what is really going on the entire film (to the point of keeping the actors in the dark so they would convey this sensation and emotion to the audience), until the final reveal at the ending, which the viewer (and even the protagonist) suspects is coming but is powerless to stop.

An even better example of control (and who has it) in horror films is found when we examine the relationship of power and control between the protagonist and the antagonist in “classic” recent horror films.  Jason, Freddy, that Saw dude, and Michael Meyers are/were all horrifying antagonists, primarily because they held all of the power.  They had giant chainsaws, elaborate traps, huge knives, were seemingly impervious to damage, and could even control your dreams and kill you in your sleep.  How are mere humans supposed to contend with a “boss” of that magnitude?  Most of the protagonists’ decisions are made in response to actions that the antagonist is taking.  It’s the villain who has the plan and is in control of the situation.  The hero is the mouse and is being confronted by mountain cats.  Rarely ever do we see the protagonists come up with a plot to defeat the villain in a horror movie.  Going “toe to toe” in combat almost always results in death.  Most are lucky to merely escape.

This sort of mentality usually flies in the face of game development.  Players expect to be a badass.  They don’t want to have to fight a boss that they can’t really hurt.  Almost no one feels that they are getting their money’s worth from a title by having to side-step combat in order to succeed.  We as developers have trained them that we will either teach them how to defeat enemies or at least supply them with the tools to learn this for themselves.  For a perfect example of this, one has to look no further than Left 4 Dead’s witch, who was designed as a one-hit uber boss for the players to avoid, and yet everyone now wants to use the auto-shotgun exploit on her from behind.  Killing her solo has actually become a new challenge, not something to fear.  Now, I’m not criticizing Left 4 Dead’s control vs. fear ratio.  In fact, they’ve designed their game around this concept.  The AI Director that we’ve heard so much about constantly tunes the game so that players with lower health are challenged at the right proportion so they don’t feel overwhelmed.  Its objective is to make the game just difficult enough so that players limp, not sprint, across the finish line into the safe house.

And that’s a tough nut to crack.  Left 4 Dead doesn’t rely on poor control to make the player afraid and tense; they use a procedurally balanced difficulty system.  In this way they have taken away the player’s control over his environment, even though it’s a mostly linear route.  Players don’t know what’s around any given corner, no matter how many times they play the level.  So players are no longer frustrated by the control of the character, as was the case in old survival horror games.  They are powerful, but just powerful enough.

But what about when we’re outside of the “horror” genre?  How can we use the control vs. fear ratio to make players feel other kinds of fear, other than the straight up “I’m gonna get axe murdered!” kind?

I was surprised when I played Mirror’s Edge that I wasn’t really experiencing any real sort of vertigo.  We’re certainly high enough up.  We’re certainly in precarious enough situations.  But I think maybe we were too much in control of Faith.  Now, hey, I’m not saying make the controls clunkier here.  That’s not the argument, necessarily.  I think the problem is that we can either be a badass, or we can experience fear.  The two are nearly mutually exclusive.  Faith was pretty much a badass.  There isn’t anything in the game she can’t parkour over (or under, or around, etc.).  We’re taught right off the bat that this isn’t really so much a dangerous rooftop scenario; it’s a playground for us to play on.  Any sense of vertigo is typically overwhelmed by a rush of endorphins or adrenaline.  It’s not scary.  It’s exciting.  Compare the sensation of playing Mirror’s Edge, for a moment, with the sensation of watching this video:

In both examples, we are exploring dangerously vertical pathways.  But in one, we’re in full control and a badass parkour expert, and in another, we’re trying to keep from pissing our pants.  Part of this is the “level design” of the catwalk in the video, and part of it is in what we know our “character” is able to do.  Even if it was playable, the catwalk video is terrifying because:

  1. Our moveset only involves walking, stairclimbing, and balancing.  Running is too risky.
  2. We’re almost always asked to stand precariously on a ledge (so we’re constantly asked to flirt with but avoid failure).
  3. Failure almost certainly means death.

The only gameplay example I can come up with for comparison to the video was the Coruscant level from (I’m pretty sure) the original Dark Forces, where we’re asked to walk around a bunch of dangerous railing-free narrow catwalks so high above the planet’s surface we can’t even see the ground.  I was in full control of my character with an FPS control scheme.  I was even a badass with an insane amount of guns.  But the pucker factor for that level was off the charts.  Even with a quicksave feature, I was so afraid of falling it became almost crippling.  It was probably due to the constant wind noise, and if I’m remembering correctly I think they actually tried to blow you off of some ledges every so often.  Of course, it didn’t hurt that badguys were on the ledges too and trying to shoot you the entire time or melee you off of them.  But the point was that despite being given an insane degree of control (pinpoint shot accuracy, FPS view and controls), I felt at the time very not in complete control of the situation.

It’s interesting to note how this footpath takes control away from the hiker.  At times the path is literally crumbled away in front of him, and he is required to walk a balance beam made out of the catwalk’s understructure hundreds of feet in the air before he can return to the relative “safety” of the cement path again.  Ostensibly, this is the same mechanic as the balance beam segments seen in Mirror’s Edge.  Regardless of which one is real or not, one is exponentially more terrifying than the other, as we are expected to do brave and dangerous things in ME, but on this narrow hiking path we want to avoid them, but are forced to confront them if the hiker wishes to continue on.

So, as a developer, if we seek to strike fear in a player, how can we give them complete control over their character, yet restrict control in their environment, in their decisionmaking, and within the confines of the gameplay?


Dastardly Josh January 20, 2009 at 12:17 pm

Would that make Half-Life a survival horror? There are several bosses that require you to think around them instead of facing them head on. Facing them head on will certainly result in death. And if You think about the G-man, he’s most certainly a menacing untouchable antagonist. You don’t realize he’s the antagonist until the end though.
I do think that, as cliche as it sounds, the original F.E.A.R. did a good job of putting the player in frightening unwinnable situations. Much of the time the player doesn’t realize their unwinnable because when a creepy little girl starts a fire with her mind you immediately want to run.

Jimeee January 22, 2009 at 6:05 am

With most games the fear factor will always decrease the more you get into the game, that is something that can’t be changed.

Like in Left 4 Dead – I’m sure everyone when they first played it crept around like a ninja, too scared to turn the corner. A few hours later they are running and gunning like it’s Halo.

Lack of success and control are usually experienced at the start of a new game when you are just getting to grips with it – it’s very difficult for the game to maintain this curve the better you get or the more guns you acquire.

Dead Rising did a great job in parts because you essentially only get 1 life and save points were sparse. You could be armed to the teeth like a commando – but unless you had just saved the game there is no way in hell you would do anything risky as if you died it meant you would need to load the last save that easily could have been an hour or 2 ago. Although the fear stemmed from “I don’t want to waste the last hour of my time if I die here” as opposed to “I’m scared of zombies” – it was still fear. That is taking control away. Although that may be attributed to the fact it was more of a jokey zombie game it wasn’t really “scary” – but it had the right idea.

Personally I loved and hated the screwed up camera angles in Resident Evil 1 and 2 because it did the job of making me scared to go down that hallway.

Seth January 22, 2009 at 3:52 pm

As far as lack of control and being scared in games goes, I have to mention Eternal Darkness on the GameCube. It had an insanity meter where, if you saw too much horror, the game would be affected. In some cases it was as benign as hearing whispers and noises from nowhere. It would, though, advance to the point of your character entering a room and you (distinction deliberately drawn) finding all of your controls had been remapped as the character was rushed by enemies, or, my personal favorite, going to save a game and having a screen very plausibly (to me, anyway), but fictionally tell me all of my saved games were being deleted (as I literally screamed “No! NO! NOOO!!!!” at the TV, seeing dozens of hours of work disappear before my eyes). One could argue it takes you out of the game because these scares are based on you as a player of games versus you empathizing with your character, but I found them quite effective nonetheless.

caboard January 23, 2009 at 12:53 am

For me, the classic example of lack of control in a game is the “falling ship” level from Jedi Knight, the sequel to Dark Forces. Not only were you being timed (with no visible timer, I might add, only a flight-attendant-calm announcement voice kindly informing you of the time until impact at regular intervals), but the entire environment rotated back and forth about 90 degrees on a central axis. You could fail to complete the level because the hallway you were supposed to go down was now on the ceiling, or a rotation trapped you under a crate, and by the time you got back on track you had lost that critical 30 seconds. There were only two or three enemies in the entire level who were even capable of shooting at you, the rest just kind of flailed around aimlessly, which added to the sense of panic. The time limit and the sheer disorientation made me so terrified of that level that I made my dad play through it for me (in my defense, I was all of ten years old).

On the opposite end of the spectrum, though in the same franchise, the Mysteries of the Sith expansion pack had a level where, as you waded blithely through a swamp, you fell into a submerged hole where an impossibly strong current instantly sucked you into an underwater tunnel from which there was no escape. Basically, if you didn’t already know where this hole was, you’d die in it. There was only one spot like that, and it was placed just far enough from the start of the level for it to be exasperating when you had to reload, but not so far as to make you stop playing. I personally find that sort of trick really cheap and extremely annoying. Making the environment rebellious is good, but there’s a fine line between an adrenaline rush and feeling that the developers are toying with you.

Invader Phlegm February 6, 2009 at 1:06 am


“Lack of success and control are usually experienced at the start of a new game when you are just getting to grips with it – it’s very difficult for the game to maintain this curve the better you get or the more guns you acquire.”

What I find interesting, is the worst fears in real life, are the one’s dealing with other people.

I do not mean when you hear about serial killers or terrorist, and the like in the news, but dealing with every day people who’s very decisions have an indelible impact on your life. Say for example, the insurance company claims adjuster who decides to deny your kid a life saving medical treatment, because it is “experimental” . . . or for that matter, any reason. I do not think I have to explain to anyone how absolutely terrifying such a situation like that can be.

And what makes it so terrifying, is that you have (or at least have been led to believe) absolutely no control over that situation – someone else has for their own reasons decided the fate of the most important anything in your life.

This situation, in and of itself, is already beyond horrifying (yet it happens all the time), but I think one of the reasons that makes it such a horrific experience, is that that claims adjuster at the request of the insurance company has completely and totally changed the rules of a mutually agreed upon interaction, seemingly on a whim.

The original rules to this particular “game”, are that you as an individual subscribe to a health insurance policy to protect yourself and your loved ones, and make timely premium payments to said policy to keep it in good standing. The payoff being, that at some point down the line, if you need this policy to kick in, the insurance company has agreed to step in and handle your affairs of health care for you – or at least that is the illusion they have led you to believe to acquire your patronage. Of course the small print on the policy grants them an considerable amount of leeway to redefine the terms of the payout on the policy – but of course they do not go out of their way to make that clear to you on the front end.

So you are playing this game called. Like a videogame, there is a learning curve. You have your scary moments, like that time when you were 17 and got busted for smoking pot. But like the game, you learn from these errors, you learn certain actions yield certain results, and if you are particularly astute, pretty soon you are halfway bad ass. So life throws situations at you, and through trial and error, you have learned to condition yourself to take these things in stride, follow the rules of the “game” and at a certain point, none of it is really that frightening any longer. Things get thrown at you at random, and you just handle them and go on about your life – which is the closest the average person gets in life to being bad ass.


Because we have learned the rules to the game, and learned to follow them; and even bend them a little. So like Left 4 Dead, life is still challenging, but no longer scary.

But what would happen in a game, if the AI could be smart enough to unexpectedly change the rules?

From time to time, if we are unfortunate, we get this in real life. And even when we are well into adulthood and comfortable with the power we wield, we can suddenly be taught to relearn a healthy respect for fear, simply by the rules of the game of life being changed.

I think on a certain level, the AI director in Left 4 Dead, is a step in the right direction, but ultimately, I feel that it is what one day will be considered a “primitive” iteration to true fear-based AI.

Obviously, AI could not just change the rules of the completely – it is after all a videogame and not real life. So it has to be an unexpected changed within reason. The game does not become too difficult or too impossible as a result, but like in real life, the ability to pull the rug of preconceptions from under the player, is going to introduce an element of fear in a game that no amount of “familiarity” with the game is going to shake.

Do that several times to the player, pull the rug completely from under them, and you can then begin to branch into another fear – paranoia. That which is truly unknown tends to breed fear in humans. And when you hit a person over the head enough times with rule changing events, you can begin to play with the idea of breeding a pervasive sense of paranoia in the mind of the player.

So take a game like Left 4 Dead. What if the AI director is also tracking how often a player has played the game, or a particular campaign in the game. And out of the blue, when the player is getting a sense of confidence with the game, the AI director decides to randomly introduce a new and completely unfamiliar boss type – or even a new type of infected – say a type of infected that does not fall for the pipe bomb trick? And maybe the new boss or the new infected the AI director spawned, the player only sees a couple of times ever, during the hundreds of hours he logs into the game. Yet the AI director seems to have an nigh endless supply of rule changing tricks to throw at the player (sparingly, and completely different from previous tricks used, of course), whenever the player is feeling confident with the game?

Mind you, this example is just a cheap trick, an illusion of superior AI, if you will. But even something like this simple “trick” could give the desired effect of countering a gamer’s familiarity with a particular game or particular level in a game.

Or maybe in a game with multiple paths to an objective, a repeat player has a tendency to play down a particular path or set of paths to said object. The AI notices this pattern, and decides at one point (seemingly random, of course), to ‘coerce” the player down one of the other unfamiliar paths to the object. In this scenario, not only do we get the AI playing out the “change the rules” dynamic, but also, we see the loss of control to the player, raise it’s head once again.

Ideally in the future, we want smarter AI; learning AI, that can aggregate player behavior over time, and make these judgments on the fly and almost completely without prediction, and make “flipping the script” a semi-regular event to any game that is attempting to scare the player.

Eternal Darkness kinda had the right idea, Left 4 Dead, kinda has the right idea, but ultimately, both are a bit on the “primitive” side of what will be possible with a bit of imagination, better AI routines and more powerful (or dedicated) hardware.

Invader Phlegm February 6, 2009 at 1:43 am

I apologize for the overly long posts. But I am kinda think this stuff up as I go – so please bear with me. Because now that my mind is on the subject matter, I have all these ideas that just won’t get out of my head unless I write them down.

Looking back at the real world example of fear I cited above, about the insurance company that
allows a loved one to perish, rather than spend the money to save a life, two other ideas spring to mind about how to enhance the fear experience in videogames.

The first idea has to do with dealing with real humans. Let us all face facts, outside of being one of only a handful of humans left alive following a zombie apocalypses-esque scenario, dealing with other humans, who through their own devices, is a really scary scenario – depending on the stakes, terrifying even. I have always found it disappointing that videogames have failed to create a narrative language, that adequately impress upon a player, the overbearing sense of dread of an event like the Jewish Holocaust, the Spanish Inquisition or the Cambodian Killing Fields, from the perspective of individuals either victimized by these events, or those who sympathize with the victim of these events, are forced to watch as these events play out, yet are terrified themselves to speak up against these events, for fear of what would happen to them or their loved ones as a result of stating decent or opposition. In many cases, take the Inquisition or the Killing Fields for example, some of the very people forced participate in victimizing others in this fashion, are diametrically opposed to what is going on, but are too afraid to speak up, as they know the same thing will happen to them.

This is real fear. Films and literature do a fair job of handling this type of fear emotion. However, if games can find a way to adequately convey this type of fear unto the player, I think as an art form, it’s importance to describing the human condition will eclipse that of stage, cinema and literature.

In these situations, you have all the classic dynamics at play: things are out of control, the situation is an impossible situation, the “boss” is a seemingly impossible boss, the rules of the life and the world have been flipped on their head, and humanity, even people you know, perhaps even yourself, have sunken to depths that make would make great white sharks look compassionate by comparison.

A developer called Darkworks is working on a new “survival-horror” title for Ubisoft, due out sometime in the next four quarters, which makes an attempt to deal with some of these very things. The city of Chicago is hit by a high magnitude, and very unexpected earthquake. The federal government is unprepared and slow to react on rescue and relief efforts, so for the survivors of the quake in the Chicago, greater metro area, it becomes every man for himself (or his own), survival situation.

It is a very interesting scenario for a survival-horror game, definitely inspired by New Orleans and the events following Hurricane Katrina, and the developer Darkworks promises to tackle head-on the subject matter of humanity, even the game’s protagonist, dog eat dog, fight for survival in the aftermath of this disaster.

It is definitely interesting stuff, and I am excited to get my hands on the final product to see what new dialog the developers have created to convey a very different sense of fear to gamers than what you get from typical games. Even if the game is ultimately “fail”, I feel if Darkworks manage to push the capable dialog that games are able to deliver to the player that much further, then ultimately it is a major victory for any type of fear based game, or gameplay that follows. So here is crossing my fingers for those guys.

Invader Phlegm February 6, 2009 at 2:17 am

The final idea that springs to mind, once again goes back to my example (above) about the decrepit HMO who would rather let your child die, than to spend money saving the kids life.

Once again, outside of a real zombie apocalypse, I really cannot think of any fear that could possible be worse than this one – which is why it is such a source of inspiration on the subject matter of conveying fear in games, this morning.

I think one of the other reasons that make it such a horrific experience (losing your child to HMO willful negligence), is the emotional investment one puts into their child. I do not think there is anything on Earth that a person could love more than their children . . . I do not think there is anything on Earth a person could feel more fear over, than something awful happening to their children (and to think, when I was 12, my greatest fear was being attacked by a giant spider, like Shelob from The Two Towers; amazing how one’s perception of fear and what frightens us, shifts over time).

I think in this regards, Peter Molyneux has gotten it so right with the dog in Fable 2.

Here is this construct in the game that you have absolutely no control over (kinda like kids in real life), but it loves you, and with time, you learn to feel affection for it – you begin to invest emotionally into it’s well being. I feel this is a really good avenue to pursue further in videogames – especially in the quest to frighten the player.

You are given this thing/person/animal/whatever. And you are taught to care for it emotionally. This sense of caring is sublimely reinforced throughout the game. If you lose this thing/person/animal/whatever, it is like losing a part of yourself. Yet unlike in Fable 2, this thing/person/animal/whatever, is constantly put into harms way, in a series of scenarios that are beyond your immediate or direct control.

I look at a game like Ico, where they attempt something similar. But never once throughout the experience of Ico, did I ever feel the attachment to the character the way I felt for the dog in Fable 2.

I think in creating such an NPC that is going to truly endear itself upon the player, so much so, that the player would (in the context of the game) sacrifice self for the benefit of this NPC, is probably an AI question. I can see the same kinds of learning AIs that get inside your head to change the rules of the game on the player (from my above exposition), being used to get inside the head in a different manner, and help convincingly create a “living, breathing” NPC that endears itself upon the player.

Part of that solution would no doubt be situational and contextually based, but I think better AI, that does a much better job (than what we have today) of convincing the player the NPC they are charged with protecting is a real individual worth caring for, is going to be the core of solving that particular problem. I feel once you solve that problem, then you can finally place this NPC into danger, any kind of danger, not just of the supernatural sense, and be able to convey a very palpable fear to the player. I think if you can get to the point where the game does not have to directly spell it out for the player, that they need to care for the well being and safety of this individual, like they do in Ico, but make it something that seems purely by choice of the player, to go against logic even make the decision on pure emotion, then you have got the perfect setup to convey all manner of different kinds of fear on the player once they have made that decision.

In a sense the dog in Fable 2 goes in the right direction without realizing the potential for creating fear in the player. Left 4 Dead, by creating situations where the player has to rely on this comrades, also is a step in the right direction. Of course that decision in Left 4 Dead is a bit more selfish than say actually feeling empathy for your fellow survivors and taking it upon yourself that you are going to stick with them come hell or high water.

Jimeee February 9, 2009 at 8:06 am

Invader Phlegm made some great points there. good read.

One point about making an advanced AI just to keep us on out toes is good as you could never feel comfortable playing – but this would take something exceptional that may be years away in terms of technology.
Also with the advent of the Internet I bet every possible outcome and every type of situation would be catalogued by hardcore fans of a game so provided you could keep away from these wiki guides it might work .

Also about having a NPC friend that you can lose is great for generating fear. I’m playing Fallout 3 and in it you also get a dog (I also have 2 human followers) that help you in battle. The problem is if I think a fight is going to be too tough I wont take them into battle with me and just leave them at home. If I do lose them in battle then its more of an inconvenience than an actual fear of losing them as I simply reload my last save.

This poses the big question – should developers take away our freedom to save and reload we permanently lose these friends we have grown to like? Should they make it that if a friend NCP dies in the game that is them gone for good? – It would certainly crank up the fear factor but given this situation I bet most people would leave their friends out of harms way at home (if that is an option like in Fallout 3) – It’s a tricky situation.

CalebG December 17, 2009 at 3:06 am

I chanced upon and liked it enough to read back, and found this article touches on a rather interesting topic. Not sure if anyone will notice this, but here goes.

Evoking emotions in the audience is almost always wanted. Love and affection has been done successfully in multiple games, but fear, it had always been a hit and miss.

As you have mentioned, Fear and helplessness go hand-in-hand, likewise, Courage and Confidence do so as well.

In Mirror’s Edge, it is the later. While players might wonder what is going on, when they enter the eyes of Faith, and knowing what she can do, much of the Fear has been taken away when it came to running around on high buildings.

However, the fear I did feel in Mirror’s Edge, was for the guards. Knowing that I can’t take them out (when they are in a group), I never did find out how fast they could move. Ever since the first encounter with a group of guards, and getting beaten to a pulp (come on, I bet you probably did try to confront them based on your superior gaming knowledge and tactics), I just ran like hell, the creeping fear of being caught up always in my chest.

Left 4 Dead was brought up multiple times, and while I found it was a good game, Left 4 Dead missed out a few key factors that toned down the Fear factor substantially.

Zombies are scary to most, perhaps not those found in movies, but the thought of them existing in real life.

Let’s example the scary traits of zombies.

Infectious Bite – If you get bitten by them, you are pretty much dead. That’s like, instant death, which might of course pose gameplay issues that are hard to work around, though not impossible. (like, ‘omgigotbitwutimdead’)

Endless Horde – While slow, this is the key element of zombies. To be specific, it doesn’t evoke fear when you see a sea of zombies from the roof of a mall, but you definitely feel despair. And despair chips away at your confidence. That happens really fast when you realize that with every one zombie you kill, two stumbles into it’s place, and it’s pace (28 Days discounted) just make the “impending doom” feeling so much greater.

Left 4 Dead missed that very important factor, and only hints at it at the end of each campaign. Zombies are limited, and there is no “impending doom” feeling. Also, as the maps are static and not new or procedurally generated, it generates familiarity, which in turn removes fear.

There are different kinds of fear as well, if you think about it. Go up a a level, and stop trying to distil what fear is. Rather, look around and see how fear is evoked in a media that has been around for ages, movies, and discount the fact that it is a non-interactive medium.

Then, see how they go about it. Setting is important, how scary the antagonist is always good, but one thing that I have to really stress upon is that music, sound effects and timing for the above are key.

Lastly, I believe fear SHOULD NOT be game mechanics. I personally feel that’s a very “slap-on” or otherwise contrived way to cause fear. Players are then not afraid of that monster you took months to model and texture, but the lost of the effort.

It’s like an idea I had a good play session of the then new mod that entered beta called Counter Strike. “What if, when you die, the game quits and un-installs itself, and you have to purchase a new one if you want to play again?”

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