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Where have all the bodies gone?

This article, over on Wired, takes a look at one of the constants of video gaming. When we kill a truckload of bad guys their corpses don't just stack up like kindling. A new game, Ninja Gaiden II, doesn't leave us with an empty street. When you dispatch a bunch of evil ninjas they stick around. The author of that article points out that this trend began a long time ago. It was originally a response to the need to free up computing power. All of the corpses sitting around needed to be rendered (a really grisly word here) by the computer and the old ones just couldn't keep up.

Now it might just be that this trend has become a tradition that has followed us into the modern age of games, but it might also be that

"... when you put it that way, this idea -- that the bodies of everyone we kill
just sort of wink out of existence -- is so hilariously pregnant with misplaced
dread that it's practically Freudian. It's as if our violent games can't quite
bear to have us face up to the dimensions of what we're doing. So they just get
rid of the evidence." -Thompson

I don't know what the plot of the Ninja Gaiden game is, but I picture Mario shrugging as he walks through a field of squashed goombas and dazed turtles saying "It's not my fault. I was just trying to save the princess!"

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