An upcoming video game is getting lots of buzz in the gamer community for a unique twist: If you get killed while playing Upsilon Circuit, you can never play again. "In most video games, death is a minor annoyance," notes a post at Smithsonian, but not in this case. Here, the idea of what's being called "perma-permadeath" is to mess "with everyone's notion of what it means to be a gamer and a game," writes Brian Crecente at Polygon. The broad strokes: Two teams of four players each navigate their way through obstacles and enemies, while being observed in live time by online spectators at the game's website or through streaming services such as Twitch. Those spectators can pay to help the players or sic evils upon them, a la the Hunger Games. "We're monetizing trolling," says co-creator Calvin Goble of the Robot Loves Kitty studio.
Once a player dies, a spectator is randomly selected to replace him. Goble tells Wired that a big part of the experiment is see whether players behave differently knowing that they're mortal, in a sense. “What I’m hoping happens is that the experience evolves and that the people who live longest will respect their one life, be more cautious and careful,” he says, adding ominously, "the only way we can go a step up from this is if we actually start killing the contestants in real life." Because only eight players can play at any one time, the creators hope spectators become similarly invested, to actually care when a player who's managed to survive for a while goes down. Players aren't the only things with a shelf life—the game itself will end after a year. "Talk about devious," observes Maxim. No date yet on when the game will start. (Even Candy Crush has real-life complications.)