It's a provocative idea, and the game has already garnered a good deal of attention. But Pain's Colorado-based developer, Idol Minds, didn't exactly pioneer the art and science of virtual suicide. The company is simply riffing off a decades-old impulse, one that dates back to the earliest days of gaming. What'll happen if my car goes flying off the track? How about when Mario falls into the fire pit? From the first Nintendo console to modern shooters, we've always used self-destruction to push at the edges of our favorite video games.
Click here for a slide-show history of video game masochism.