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Sadly, plain resurrection is much simpler and scientifically more plausible than traveling back in time.

However, time travel has the intrinsic drawback of erasing the progress you've made after a person's death, along with other limitations that I'll simply refer to as Visual Novel Sickness.

Jesus saves and makes incremental backups, that's true for people here. Using a little bit of nanomachine magic and quantum supercomputers, it becomes possible to regularly back the mind up. And if you were wondering, you can't touch those backups.

The only drawback is that progress after the latest backup will be lost. However, the worst that can come from that is that you don't remember the details of your death (that's what GoPros are for), and if you happened to mess up the timing, you might have to lose your virginity again.

So, resurrection is a guarantee in this world. You will come back like in a video game.

So, what intrinsic drawback can I place on resurrection so that death would still have the same emotional impact?

In other words, it's not arbitrarily placed there by Vecna, but is a limitation that arises from how resurrection works.

A more concrete example of intrinsic limitations: with Visual Novel Sickness, your self-insert has to protect the character you want to save and that imposes a material issue and an information issue gradually, as the timelines diverge. You can't solo an army, and you don't know what your friend will do now, since the previous minute was the last time you saw them alive. You know, standard save-scummer issues.

Unlike the Captain McKenna question, it's not necessary for the drawback here to impact anything besides the characters' emotions.

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  • $\begingroup$ Save/restore works well in a single-player video games, resurrection in multiple player games works differently. Which one is it in your world? $\endgroup$ – Alexander Jan 14 at 22:30
  • $\begingroup$ @Alexander An MMO with respawns. $\endgroup$ – Mephistopheles Jan 14 at 22:30
  • $\begingroup$ Then you can place any drawbacks, for example a person returned to the respawn point, but all possessions are lost. $\endgroup$ – Alexander Jan 14 at 22:33
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    $\begingroup$ @Mephistopheles That doesn't answer the question. A backup of a real person is a separate real person, equally real but also not the same. $\endgroup$ – Cadence Jan 14 at 22:45
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    $\begingroup$ @Mephistopheles I suppose you mean "soul". Although, I'm actually hoping you do mean the bottom of the shoe as it seems very entertaining. $\endgroup$ – VLAZ Jan 15 at 7:11
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Your insurance premiums will skyrocket each time you die, to the point that you can no longer afford Mind-Backup Insurance.
And there's no way you can pay the $10 million cost out-of-pocket.

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The surface answer is obviously death will have no real value.

At least for those whom resurrection is "widely" available! It will obviously continue to hold value to those for whom it is not available.

What this means is that you are going to have to implement some means of making it valuable even to those who have access to the service. Some possibilities:

  • many games implement a kind of level scheme, and indeed the Chinese government has implemented a similar thing with their Social Credit System. The usefulness is obvious: if a person isn't levelling up at a predetermined rate, ressurection can be hampered or delayed. This is a relatively more serious punishment as one's (conscious) existence in resurrectional limbo may be short or long depending

  • as has been mentioned in the comments, the resurrected person will pop back into existence without anything at all or with only some bare essential items. This might be considered a very minor or very common punishment

  • you could implement a sliding scale of service fees: the first resurrection could be free while the next one entails a nominal fee that rises with each time. This would (perhaps) teach a kind of frugality

  • coupled with the Social Credit System, you could literally impose a system of conscious punitive resurrections: those lacking sufficient credit might come back in a regressed state.

  • you could implement a post mortem lottery where say some percentage of all those awaiting resurrection, and who have not merited sufficient Social Credit during their previous life, will in fact be chosen randomly to finally and permanently die. This should be a non-instantaneous event where not only morituri are fully aware of the process, but so is everyone else.

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  • $\begingroup$ I was thinking maybe that weapons would adapt to the existence of resurrection and would be designed to inflict more pain without killing, thus destroying morale, and killing your troops to reset them wouldn't be viewed very favorably. The only problem with that would be LA Beast. $\endgroup$ – Mephistopheles Jan 14 at 23:29
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Legal system has not kept the pace with technology. Legally, you are dead and the resurrected copy is at best a stateless person with no right of abode, no work permit, no money, no place to live, no nothing. Or even they are not considered persons at all, lacking even basic human rights (and can be e.g. kidnapped and tortured with impunity).

The rich ones can set up trust funds and shell corporations officially in care of the backup, and have at least some legal protection.

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