Gamasutra is running the most complete biometrics study of horror games that I’ve seen. It’s fascinating research, and the end page of conclusions is particularly useful for the horror game designer. Most interestingly to me, the study finds key differences between how “core” gamers and “casual” gamers are scared. Core games see through scripted sequences and are less scared by them; casual gamers are not as familiar with the language of games and are thus more affected by scripted sequences and cutscenes. Alan Wake and Dead Space 2 were effective with both groups, but Condemned was more effective with core players than casual. This is great stuff, check it out.