The latest episode of PBS' ongoing Game/Show series poses an interesting question: Does DayZ and other permadeath games teach us how to live better lives? Game/Show thinks so, positing that the threat of a permanent end to a gaming experience ultimately adds more weight to the time within that experience, creating even more moment-to-moment tension.
Of course, the downside is death anxiety, the awareness that our end will come at some point. But video games are unique in that they allow us to confront our own demise at any time and learn from it – which isn't something we can say about life. Yet?