Video games are often presumed to be escapist power fantasies. Many of the most popular games are action titles in which the player straps on the combat boots of an exceptionally powerful and empowered character. Games offer discrete goals with fixed completion points, and those goals are almost universally possible. Games offer us the ability to experience the world of fantastic characters, but also the power and autonomy available to those characters.
Definitions of "game," be they definitions given by academics, dictionary writers, or anyone else, tend to incorporate the notion of a goal that is to be achieved — a way to win. Often the trials of games are presented as "pass / fail." The player-character either succeeds in the trial or fails. The hero either defeats the monster or is defeated by the monster. While skill tests resonate with the interactivity of the medium, the standard implementation leads players to expect and desire to “win.”
But games don’t only tell stories of power and triumph. Games can also handle tragedy.