A saved game (also sometimes called a game save, savegame, savefile, save point, or simply save) is a piece of digitally stored information about the progress of a player in a video game.
From the earliest games in the 1970s onward, game platform hardware and memory improved, which led to bigger and more complex computer games, which, in turn, tended to take more and more time to play them from start to finish. This naturally led to the need to store in some way the progress, and how to handle the case where the player received a "Game over". More modern games with a heavier emphasis on story telling are designed to allow the player many choices that impact the story in a profound way later on, and some game designers do not want to allow more than one save game so that the experience will always be 'fresh'.
Game designers allow players to prevent the loss of progress in the game (as might happen after a game over.) Games designed this way encourage players to 'try things out', and on regretting a choice, continue from an earlier point on.
Although the feature of save games might suggest you can retry after a game over, a notable exception is in games where save games are deleted when it is game over. Several names are used to describe this feature: 'permadeath', 'iron man', 'hardcore', and the feature has developed over the years from being the only kind of save system per game to the more modern 'suspend game' feature among regular save points. For online games the game's progress is maintained on the remote server. In some games, upon resuming the game from a save game, the software locks or marks the save game. Early examples like Moria (video game), Diablo II 'hardcore' mode where the character save game is managed by the battle.net server. Depending on the game the feature may be feasible or not, depending on how the game handles interrupting or ending a game session.
The use of saved games is very common in modern video games, particularly in role-playing video games, which are usually much too long to finish in a single session.