Continue (video gaming)

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For the programming language continue keyword, see Control flow.
A7Xpg gives the player the opportunity to continue playing after losing his or her last life.

Continue is a common term in video games for the option to continue the game after all of the player's lives have been lost, rather than ending the game and restarting from the very beginning. There may or may not be a penalty for doing this, such as losing a certain number of points or being unable to access bonus stages.

Arcade games[edit]

In arcade games, when a player loses or fails an objective, they will be shown a "continue countdown" screen, in which the player has a certain limited amount of time to insert additional coins in order to continue the game from the point where it had ended by pressing the start button; deciding not to continue will result in the displaying of a Game over screen.[1] The continue feature was added to arcade games in the mid-1980s due to arcade owners wanting to earn more money from players who played for longer periods of time.[1] The first arcade game to have a continue feature was Fantasy.[1]

As a result of the continue feature, games started to have stories and definite endings; however, those games were designed so that it would be nearly impossible to get to the end of the game without continuing.[2]

Salen and Zimmerman argue that the continue feature in games such as Gauntlet was an outlet for conspicuous consumption.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Compton, p. 117
  2. ^ Compton, p. 118
  3. ^ Salen and Zimmerman, p. 254. "[Gauntlet's escalating difficulty] can turn Gauntlet into a completely different kind of conflict, one in which players compete to demonstrate their tolerance for putting money into the game, a form of conspicuous consumption much like high-stakes gambling."

Further reading[edit]

  • Katie Salen and Eric Zimmerman. Rules of Play: Game Design Fundamentals. 2004. p. 264, found at Google Books (describing how the option to "continue" influenced the game design of Gauntlet).
  • Shanna Compton. Gamers: writers, artists & programmers on the pleasures of pixels p. 117-118, found at [1] (describing how "continue" feature changed how arcade games were approached)