Time Limits in Video Games

Thursday, May 28, 2009 at 8:04 AM | Filed under ,

I've noticed that many newer video games don't seem to have time limits, but there's something about them that has been bugging me.

Think back to Super Mario Bros. The timer for each level would typically start with a few hundred "seconds," even though it always ticked down much faster than that. When the timer reached 100 or so, the music would speed up, causing a great deal of panic for the player. When the timer reached 0, Mario would die.

I understand that this just is a gameplay device to add some challenge to the game, but why does he die? By what mechanism is Mario killed when the time runs out?

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