Chris Talks: Horror Games

Why would one wish to make one shit oneself repeatedly for fun? Better yet, why would one find one having fun while shitting oneself?

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Well, there is something to be said for putting yourself in a frightening, yet entirely safe/friendly-ish situation. You get a certain thrill from facing, ever-so-briefly, the demon of being frightened. You may be beginning to suspect a pattern here: I am not keen on being frightened. You’re right, lets not talk about it.

Wrong!

It’s not so much being frightened, but the method, the sneak tom-foolery. You know what I mean; the school internet video pranks with the wonky, flickering, draw you in and wait…

Boom!

A ghost lady with red eyes sweeps past. For a second they pierce your very soul, life is stolen from you. But soon, all is over. You laugh it off, but a piece of you was lost that day.

For me, clever use of camera tricks, visual flicker and camera shaking can up the heart rate. A menacing setting, unsafe environment and a general ‘rapey’ vibe put’s you off-focus. The heart beat soundtrack, low reverb and nerve-shredding exclamations that bend your bones!

Finally: The Stalker, The Shadow Weaver, The Mind Creeper with the hollow, shining eyes that watch your vain, pointless steps in the dark. With that following menace, whether it be Slender, Pyramid Head or the T-Rex, the threat is ever present. But more importantly an entity so unnatural, the option of self-torture from what lies ahead is a better prospect.

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Why run?

For me personally, there are TWO things that will always be burned into my brain; like the unforgettable lesson only a parent can teach; which, to this day, will make you think twice about whatever it was you shouldn’t be doing,  despite knowing you can do you’re an adult and adults are allowed to do such things (like: play with matches, knives and nuclear weapons).

The FIRST is the dread-engulfing and life-shattering music that would bullet point an exact end of Sonic the Hedgehog’s tiny, blue existence due to suffocation, how one would know him being blue and all? I thought I was going to drown, and so would sacrifice hours of gameplay, and reset that bitch.

The SECOND, ladies and gentleman (and first foray into intentional exposure to fear), is Doom.

One phrase to sum up why it was so scary: ‘what did that do?’

No-matter how many guns you have, the simple flick of a switch with no response from a door or latch to justify said switch. To the mind of a 6-year-old, this does not help.

This is a fear built on a prior knowledge of what to expect.

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How so?

Well, usually, you flick switches, open doors, make lots of noise then shoot stuff. But now, a switch is pulled, no noise is made to confirm it did something, however, this is the first time your childhood self thinks nothing of it.

Boom!

You turn a corner, the wall opens and beasties pour out. They are loud, the corners are tight, the corridors are narrow, and it was on your blind side. You jump, scream and shoot blindly. One scratches you, you press reset.

Level Two shall wait till the next day.

So, with that lesson learnt, you flick a different switch.

No noise.

A Vietnam flashback of the last time that happened, you think to yourself: ‘What did that do?’

Which is why it will be the best form of horror; you know what to expect and how it’s going to get you and it still scares you. Even now, like bumping into a person on the street, it still manages to get me. Literally, at times I bump into demons, their grotesquely pixelated faces bearing down on me.

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So what?

Well, games of fear allow us to be scared without any actual danger. Whether for thrills, or to see how much horror we dare take; a morbid pleasure is gained from the satisfaction of a scary story unfolding and a puzzle being completed.

Regardless of the tricks used,  a huge bang and scream accompanied by a popup face of what can only be described as an anus with teeth and eyes will always make me shit myself.

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