Original post by Wavinator
Let me explain: In a game, you expect to win. Losing is a sign of failure. Yet exploration of failure and loss are what tragedy in narrative is all about. Does this mean that tragedy can never happen to the player, and thus only experienced through remotely through supporting characters?
An example slightly off-topic: I think I would enjoy playing a (good) strategy game where you knew you would lose every battle. It would be all about how badly you lose, delaying the enemy, but you would lose every time, no matter what you do. In this game, "winning" is not about victory, it''s about buying time for someone else.
Another example, more on topic: In Freespace 2, there are two different endings: one where your main character dies, and one where he doesn''t. Both are satisfying, and I didn''t feel I had "failed" even though I died in the final mission.
It''s again all about separating gameplay and story. Loss or failure in story doesn''t necessarily mean failure in gameplay, as is the case in the two examples I provided.