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In video games where characters have multiple lives, and where it is possible to gain extra lives, it is often spoken of as "getting a free guy".

Some synonyms of "free guy" are extra life, one up, extra man, bonus life, a life, the life, the green mushroom, the head.

I often wonder about the sociological impact of the use of the "free guy" in our gaming world. It may be responsible for an überentrepreneurial approach to living. If I try a tremendously great undertaking (often the only way to win in games where lives are multiple) then, I may meet great reward (domination of the planet, saving a princess and many mushroom retainers, etc.)

Are we as nihilistic as we are because we see the chance to redo any error by picking up from our karmic "save"s?

A film (which by all account is terrific, and I drip heavily with shame for not having seen it) that discusses the theme of the extra life or "free gal" is Run Lola Run.

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