Now that we know when and where gaming’s regenerating health fetish came about, it’s worth exploring why it’s become the predominant way of healing in video games today. To sum, health regen makes things simpler, in almost every facet of a game. Resources don’t need to be meticulously managed. Single-player and multiplayer battles always take place on a level playing field. Cover-based mechanics are made more prevalent. And, since health packs no longer need to strewn across random, “secret” areas, level design is made simpler.
Regenerating health makes everything easier, and makes games require less effort on the part of the player. As you’d expect, this has its benefits and deficiencies. Those who long for the scrupulous, thorough games that put the player in charge of every aspect of its events will deride the system for “streamlining” too much. But those who want a tighter, controlled, and perhaps more scripted experience will be delighted to see such games take them through their journey. Sometimes people just want to duck, shoot, and have fun, after all. Of course, there’s a commercial aspect to all this too, but you probably already knew that.