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Horror in Video Games

May 27, 2011

I’ve been writing some stuff over on the Red Wasp Design blog looking more at the idea of horror and how it relates to the video games genre. If you are interested, then here are the links…

Firstly I looked at Lovecraft’s insightful essay on horror in another medium, literature. Then I related the key feature of good horror – the atmosphere – to video games.

THE OLDEST and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown. …

Then I quoted some more and gave a link to a short film on the subject.  Then I took to discussion into the realm of perspective; in literature you write from the 1st, 2rd or 3rd person view point.  In games we really only have two – 1st and 3rd.  How you view the events/action, I think, changes how the horror works…

In a 3rd person game you see the body of the character you control, so there is a slight dislocation between your view and theirs, but its not long before you see them as you, so when your character gets hurt, so you you.  The same happens in 1st person, however because you don’t see the body of the character as much (if at all) then there is (I feel) a slight dislocation of the damage done to your character.  For horror games, this is a crucial way to evoke fear.

More horror media, this time from film...

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