Article: Fraidy Cat Gamer

I followed a link from Slashdot Games to this interesting post about the difference between horror games and horror movies over at the hilariously titled The author admits to being absolutely terrified by horror games despite having no trouble with horror movies. The point he makes, which is a big part of the reason I am running this site, is that the level of emotional involvement that a video game can produce can be much higher than passive media like film. Playing the roll of the main character means that we are unable to use common cliches as a defense against fear. I think that this type of involvement is possible for other types of games as well, but the horror game genre seem to be where the best of the best currently reside.

2 thoughts on “Article: Fraidy Cat Gamer

  1. I totally agree, and it’s a big part of why I visit this site. I can’t find a book that will scare me, and I’ve only found two movies in my adult life capable of scaring me (the Ring and the Grudge, maybe the end of Blair Witch just a little bit), but lots of video games, from System Shock 2 to Silent Hill, scare me. Hell, I was even scared by the growling warthog guys in Doom. I remember after I started playing Silent Hill 3 and I went to the mall with my wife and I thought ‘oh my god, I’m in a mall, this is so creepy’ – it was then I knew I was hooked on horror video games. And this also explains why the ‘survival’ part is so important: the ‘they’re after me’ scariness just doesn’t work without ‘and they might kill me.’ If you’re not going to have the character face death at every turn, you’re wasting the fact that you have the player emotionally involved in the character.

  2. Absolutely!

    I’ve been mulling over an article that pits Horror against Horror. That is the “Horror” label stamped on the majority of products is actually “Terror” – fear of the physical moment, rather than actual Horror — fear from mental uncertainty.

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