Video Game Kill Screens |

If you’ve ever experienced a dreaded kill screen in your favorite video game, you may already know what it is even if you didn’t know the proper name for it. A kill screen is a major error in your video game that will typically freeze or crash the game. Further progress in the game will be held up by the game kill screen, hence its name.The errors that cause these screens can vary. Often it happens due to a programming error or some type of design oversight that causes the game to become unplayable. It may freeze and continue to freeze at that particular point every time you play the game, making it impossible to move past that point in the game.Sometimes video game kill screens will cause the game to crash or just suddenly stop playing and then never work again. If you ever played any of the old, classic video games like Donkey Kong or Pac-Man and even some early Nintendo games, you’ve probably experienced video game kill screens.Arcade games are famous for their video game kill screens. If you’ve ever experienced the frustration of beating your score and getting to a high level of your favorite arcade, only to have it crash or freeze up, you know how difficult this can be. Newer games try to avoid these video game kill screens but they do still occur sometimes.Sometimes kill screens are caused by something called integer overload. This is why they were so common in arcade games. For example, in an 8-bit level counter, there can only be 255 distinct values. When you go over this, such as to the 256th level of the game, there will be integer overflow which causes the game to crash.However, integer overflow isn’t the only cause of the dreaded screens. Sometimes design oversight by the programmers or a computer bug can cause the problem. Many video game kill screens can be repaired with a patch to the game. If you are bothered by a video game kill screen, this should always be your first option to see if it is available.Games like Donkey Kong, Dunk Hunt and Frogger were famous for their kill screens and in some games where the kill screen happens at a particular high point in the game, they are treated as a goal to be achieved. Players looked at the kill screen as the end of the game, therefore meaning they’ve beaten the game once they achieve it.