A paradox: you're expected to care about keeping your avatar alive in video games, but if you fail there's an endless supply of replacements waiting to fill his shoes.
If anything, video games have grown more lenient over the years, treating to you infinite respawns virtually from the spot where you last failed.
One Single Life for iPhone is a free indie game that experiments with resolving this paradox by only giving you one life. Not one life per go. One life.
It's is a bit like Canabalt, in that you have to run from left to right vaulting over chasms. There are ten levels, each containing a single jump. Mess one up and you're gone. According to the App Store description, only 4 per cent of players in the world will be able to complete it, though it's not clear where this figure comes from: presumably QA testing.
This isn't the first indie game liable to cause controvery on the App Store. Last year Tale of Tales released “explorable painting” The Graveyard, in which all you do is steer an old woman towards a bench, where she dies. It takes about five minutes to play, has no replay value, and cost £1.19.
Destructoid called it, "a pretentious, ineffective waste of the interactive medium". Eurogamer called it, "striking and thought-provoking". Tale of Tales has published both comments and others on the game's App Store description.
One Single Life is likely to be just as controversial. It would certainly raise value for money concerns if it cost anything, but it doesn't, so you might as well give it a whirl.