Why, videogames, why? (The Horror... the HORRORRRR)

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Re: Why, videogames, why? (Horror)

Postby Awia » Sun Jun 15, 2008 12:09 pm UTC

What if I wish to acquire a copy?
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Re: Why, videogames, why? (Horror)

Postby SecondTalon » Mon Jun 16, 2008 7:23 pm UTC

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Re: Why, videogames, why? (Horror)

Postby Iori_Yagami » Tue Jun 17, 2008 4:20 pm UTC

Horror games and not a single word about Clock Tower? Strange, strange...
Now, don't say I didn't warn you that it is creepy and unnerving and immersing... (original SNES especially).
It is also very very horror movie cliché-ridden, but it plays well... At night, when you are alone in the house, with sounds on and lights off and you are so terrified, and then... electricity cut happens and screen goes black and you have to go find out what's wrong with it... (Added as 'thing everyone has to experience at least once' #72973).
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Re: Why, videogames, why? (Horror)

Postby Belial » Tue Jun 17, 2008 7:38 pm UTC

Horror games and not a single word about Clock Tower?


Well, it didn't start as a thread about horror games, it started as a thread about injecting horror elements into games that are not, primarily, horror.

I don't think someone like the OP who (inexplicably) hates horror would even bother picking up Clock Tower, Silent Hill, or Alone in the Dark.
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Re: Why, videogames, why? (Horror)

Postby miss1337piggy » Sun Jun 22, 2008 2:44 am UTC

Nothing to see here.
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Re: Why, videogames, why? (Horror)

Postby Nomic » Sun Jun 22, 2008 8:01 am UTC

System Shock 2 is the freakiest game I've played. At start you got just a wrench as a weapon, and you run into zombies. Ok, tat's not so bad, they're slow you cna just run away or crack their skull with the wrench, but then coem the monkeys! Yeas, the monkeys! I have no idead why there are monkeys in the game but they're really fast, about you'r knee height and make the most terrible sound I've heard! They just run around you biting you'r ankles while you desperately try to hit em, all the while making that infernal screeching. After dying to the monkeys 5 times, I said "fuck this game" and have never palyed it again.

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Re: Why, videogames, why? (Horror)

Postby AngrySquirrel » Sun Jun 22, 2008 8:57 am UTC

Thief 3-Deadly Shadows, The Cradle. Goddamn. Only time I've ever had to shut off a game and take a break to calm down and turn on the lights.

Spoiler:
The worst part of it imo is the first part, where you sneak around expecting something bad to show up, but it never does. And then there is the part when you hear the knocking from the attic. Creepy, creepy, creepy. As soon as you get to the second part, and realise that "Hey, it's only zombies" it stops being that scary.
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Re: Why, videogames, why? (Horror)

Postby German Sausage » Sun Jun 22, 2008 12:30 pm UTC

arise from the dead, alma/FEAR discussion!

SecondTalon wrote:
Irrefutable wrote:
SecondTalon wrote:
Spoiler:
The final thing in the hallway where she slowly approaches you and the only solution (I found) was to blow her to the 9 hells with whatever pieces of hardware I could find disagree with your assessment of the older.
Spoiler:
Was that in the most recent game where you play as someone other than the normal character? Only other explanations i can think of is that she has gone completely mad (Doesnt her mind coujure evil beasties to come attack you?), she wasnt actually intending you harm you or the writers are crazy, but young Alma does help you out quite alot through the course of the game. Also judging by Youtube old Alma seams more interested in scaring the bejesus out of you than actually doing you in

I've not played any of the expansions, just the original. It was right at the end of the game.
Spoiler:
[url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GRPvMUmWthE]Start this at about 4:12. If you don't blow her the hell away, she kills you. If you don't basically do what the guy does in the video, you die. Now, it may simply be that she's trying to hug you or something and has no idea what she's doing.. but the point is, she kills you if you don't kill her first. As much as anyone other than you can be killed in those hallucinations

Irrefutable wrote:
Spoiler:
I would just guess that it is just general insanity or other general crazyness as Alma the young who is the mental projection of stragley Alma helps you extensivly in Extraction Point. Just out of interest what is the nature of your death if you dont shoot her up? violent blood on the walls stuff for a unpleasent noise and a fade to black type thing?

Spoiler:
the entire plot of the vanilla FEAR made me think that i should just let her come to me in that corridor. little alma is on your side, and although older alma is scary, she is the same person. maybe all she needs is someone to not horribly abuse her maybe?
i don't remember how i died, but i died the first time and thought it was because i'd shot her once (twitchy much?) and she was pissed. but i used a save game and she still killed me. she is definitely not on your side.

i would have loved it if she'd just evaporated or something, but that would have gotten rid of
Spoiler:
the bit at the end where she climbs into your helicopter and you shit yourself
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Re: Why, videogames, why? (Horror)

Postby JayDee » Mon Jun 23, 2008 1:01 am UTC

Nomic wrote:I have no idead why there are monkeys in the game but they're really fast, about you'r knee height and make the most terrible sound I've heard! They just run around you biting you'r ankles while you desperately try to hit em, all the while making that infernal screeching. After dying to the monkeys 5 times, I said "fuck this game" and have never palyed it again.
It sounds like you know exactly why the monkeys are in the game ;) . But you missed the best part. Psychic monkeys that hurl feces psychokinetic balls of energy at you.

I must say it is very satisfying when you do kill one and hack out it's brain.
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Re: Why, videogames, why? (Horror)

Postby Irrefutable » Mon Jun 23, 2008 2:00 am UTC

It was never the enemies of System Shcok that scared the bejesus out of me tbh as after a while you worked out your tactics and knew what you were up against, the ghosts however scared the hell out of me. One of the incidences that i still remember today was when you are walking down an empty corridor turn and there is a woman there standing looking at you and screaming in a way garunteed to terrify the hell out of me, i emptied most of my ammo into the ghost before realising my mistake and getting clubbed in the back.
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Re: Why, videogames, why? (Horror)

Postby JayDee » Mon Jun 23, 2008 2:08 am UTC

Irrefutable wrote:It was never the enemies of System Shcok that scared the bejesus out of me.
I have to admit, there is a door on the medical level of the original System Shock that opens and closes by itself. Damn door always freaks me out.
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Re: Why, videogames, why? (Horror)

Postby Mr. Galt » Mon Jun 23, 2008 7:05 am UTC

I like to think of bioshock as more of a "creepy" game than a horror game. But still those splicers that pop out of the darkness really piss me off.

Speaking of the darkness, great game. Although Mike Patton (the guy who does the voice for 'darkness') is a douche in person.

I played the demo of F.E.A.R. which was enough to convince me to never play it again.


The scariest game I ever played was by far, a silly little shooter that was somewhat like the first wolfenstein, only with witches and zombies.
It had shitty synthesized Halloween type music and I always died on the first level because I couldn't figure out where to go and enemies would spawn randomly in places that I was not facing.

The fact that I was six might have had something to do with it.

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Re: Why, videogames, why? (Horror)

Postby ChooChoo » Mon Jun 23, 2008 11:40 am UTC

Condemned: Criminal Origins is easily the most effective horror game I've ever played. If you're into that sort of thing, pick it up, and play it at midnight like I did. There's a level in an abandoned apartment store, with manikins all over the place... I knew from the start what to expect, and they still managed to get me.

Not to mention the orchard house final sequence...

I must admit, too, the combat is really well designed, if only a bit hard to get used to at first.

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Re: Why, videogames, why? (Horror)

Postby Thadlerian » Sun Jul 20, 2008 7:20 pm UTC

Sir_Elderberry wrote:Black headcrabs are pretty much the most "Oh, crap" moment I've had in videogames. Not scary in the "AHHH, Surprised!" sense, but scary in the "If I don't shoot/bash this headcrab in RIGHT NOW, I'm going to die, because I know Valve's probably put a bunch of regular headcrabs around too."

Headcrabs are fairly creepy, but the worst part about Ravenholm is when you put fire to the headcrab zombies, and you can hear them screaming with innocent, once-human voices.

That is awful.

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Re: Why, videogames, why? (Horror)

Postby Mr. Beck » Mon Jul 21, 2008 12:34 am UTC

Thadlerian wrote:
Sir_Elderberry wrote:Black headcrabs are pretty much the most "Oh, crap" moment I've had in videogames. Not scary in the "AHHH, Surprised!" sense, but scary in the "If I don't shoot/bash this headcrab in RIGHT NOW, I'm going to die, because I know Valve's probably put a bunch of regular headcrabs around too."

Headcrabs are fairly creepy, but the worst part about Ravenholm is when you put fire to the headcrab zombies, and you can hear them screaming with innocent, once-human voices.

That is awful.

There's one part when about five are running at you simultaneously. If you think fast, you can run into the room behind you and close the door- but then they bust through the ceiling! Suddenly I had five fast zombies clobbering me from all directions while they made that noise. It was awesome!

Is it just me, or is the part in Ep2 when you first meet the Hunter not terrifying? I jumped out of my skin when I turned around and saw it. The worst is when you see it killing Alyx- you can't do anything to save her, after they spent all both previous games making you care about her. It's the only time in a game I have been scared for another person.

I need to play some horror games :)

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Re: Why, videogames, why? (Horror)

Postby Amnesiasoft » Mon Jul 21, 2008 1:02 am UTC

Mr. Beck wrote:after they spent all both previous games making you care about want to absolutely murder her.

Fixed.

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Re: Why, videogames, why? (Horror)

Postby Mr. Beck » Mon Jul 21, 2008 5:00 am UTC

Amnesiasoft wrote:
Mr. Beck wrote:after they spent all both previous games making you care about want to absolutely murder her.

Fixed.

:shock: ?
Citation needed!

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Re: Why, videogames, why? (Horror)

Postby Amnesiasoft » Mon Jul 21, 2008 5:27 am UTC

Mr. Beck wrote:Citation needed!

Oh wait, maybe I'm the only one who has Alyx get in the way every chance she gets, including trapping me behind a door with a zombine rushing over at me with a grenade. Thanks a lot Alyx, I somehow feel I'd be better off without you.

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Re: Why, videogames, why? (Horror)

Postby farrahrani » Wed Jul 23, 2008 11:59 am UTC

I'm not so much into the creepy/horror games. I like watching other people play them, though. :twisted:

I'm a creampuff, I admit it. Until now the scariest thing I played was tomb raider II gold, and the sharks used to scare teh beejeezus outta me. At the time, those were advanced graphics, lol. And the second shark coming around the corner as a surprise when you'd be swimming to get items made me wanna cry. I tried playing one of the Silent Hill games, and after ending up in a building full of those damned creatures wanted to wet myself, so I never played again. :oops:

After reading all the posts about FEAR, I looked up the multiplayer version, and it sounds really interesting. Does anyone know if the free version, downloaded online has Securom or any kind of protection software? Because I don't want to mess up my pc. :shock:

Sorry if I strayed, lol.

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Re: Why, videogames, why? (Horror)

Postby Thadlerian » Wed Jul 23, 2008 12:35 pm UTC

Sir_Elderberry wrote:Black headcrabs are pretty much the most "Oh, crap" moment I've had in videogames. Not scary in the "AHHH, Surprised!" sense, but scary in the "If I don't shoot/bash this headcrab in RIGHT NOW, I'm going to die, because I know Valve's probably put a bunch of regular headcrabs around too."

Happily, Ravenholm also offers a relief for the nerves: The whitewash bucket! White headcrabs are not remotely as scary! Challenge to those who think they've done everything you can do in HL2: Whitewash the whole of Ravenholm with you Gravity Gun!

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Re: Why, videogames, why? (Horror)

Postby CogDissident » Wed Jul 23, 2008 3:27 pm UTC

Yeah, that woman got in the way more often than not. Though using her as a free ammo repository, was useful (NPCs have infinite ammo, thus you can conserve ammo by letting her fight everything where possible).

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Re: Why, videogames, why? (Horror)

Postby Irrefutable » Thu Jul 24, 2008 7:48 am UTC

I am now playing through FEAR through the first time and im alternating between shaking with the pure awsome, shaking with terror and falling out of my chair.

I think i need a hug
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Re: Why, videogames, why? (Horror)

Postby Edawan » Fri Jul 25, 2008 12:36 pm UTC

I thought FEAR was just endless corridors with always the same enemies... nothing even remotely thrilling.
The surreal elements were too scarce to keep me interested. 30 minutes of wandering through the level rewarded with a half second of creepy girl or ghost quickly got old.
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Re: Why, videogames, why? (Horror)

Postby Aethernox » Tue Jul 29, 2008 6:30 pm UTC

Mr. Galt wrote:Speaking of the darkness, great game. Although Mike Patton (the guy who does the voice for 'darkness') is a douche in person.

To be fair, he's an excellent musician.

Is anyone else a fan of Alice? The atmosphere, I thought, was terrific.

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Re: Why, videogames, why? (Horror)

Postby Indon » Tue Jul 29, 2008 6:54 pm UTC

Belial wrote:Well, it didn't start as a thread about horror games, it started as a thread about injecting horror elements into games that are not, primarily, horror.


BioShock isn't a horror-genre FPS? If not horror, what is it supposed to be? Hard Sci-fi?

You know, despite the pretty significant gameplay flaws, I really like the atmosphere of Hellgate : London (And the original Diablo, way back in the day when doorways were my best friend) as well, and other horror-rich RPG's (though being an RPG is almost guaranteed to mute the horror aspect in the late-game as you steadily progress from Oh-god-that-zombies-gonna-kill-me to Storming-the-gates-of-hell-with-your-superweapon... but then, I guess that kinda happened in DOOM, too.
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Re: Why, videogames, why? (Horror)

Postby aion7 » Tue Jul 29, 2008 10:48 pm UTC

Indon wrote:You know, despite the pretty significant gameplay flaws, I really like the atmosphere of Hellgate : London (And the original Diablo, way back in the day when doorways were my best friend) as well, and other horror-rich RPG's (though being an RPG is almost guaranteed to mute the horror aspect in the late-game as you steadily progress from Oh-god-that-zombies-gonna-kill-me to Storming-the-gates-of-hell-with-your-superweapon... but then, I guess that kinda happened in DOOM, too.
Yes. There really need to be more somewhat horror toned RPGs. Also, I'd like to see a full on "holy shit" horror game, that's also a fully competent ARPG. Something like Hellgate, but scary as the half dead offspring of Silent Hill and FEAR.
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Re: Why, videogames, why? (Horror)

Postby mosc » Mon Aug 04, 2008 7:58 pm UTC

If I might get this thing back on topic, it's not that some of us gamers are frustrated with corpses, blood, and violence, it's that we're frustrated with horror. It's a distinction that's starting to slip from this thread.

Halflife is the best example of plenty of corpses, blood, but really only Ravenholm (sp) was horror. The occasional headcrab jumping out from a shadow really isn't that much of a shocker. Having guys coming at you from all sides is excitement, not scare. The difference is important!

I totally agree with the topic starter. I loved so much of Bioshock and played through it but yes, the horror stuff did DETRACT from the game to me. I don't like it, it seems played out and pointless. Bioshock is the game in question because most horror games are, well, crap. Bioshock was not.
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Re: Why, videogames, why? (Horror)

Postby Account20151023 » Thu Aug 07, 2008 6:59 pm UTC

I'd say Bioshock was more a Dystopian Steampunk Shooter. Not really horror.

If you're looking for horror, check out Fatal Frame 2. It'll put a fresh load in your adult diaper.

I guess being a child armed only with a camera against homicidal ghosts would do that IRL, though.

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Re: Why, videogames, why? (Horror)

Postby Belial » Thu Aug 07, 2008 7:02 pm UTC

I totally agree with the topic starter. I loved so much of Bioshock and played through it but yes, the horror stuff did DETRACT from the game to me. I don't like it, it seems played out and pointless. Bioshock is the game in question because most horror games are, well, crap. Bioshock was not.


Honestly, though, why?

Do you just feel the horror was poorly done, or that horror doesn't belong in video games?

Because the first one is an arguable position, the latter just mystifies me.
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Re: Why, videogames, why? (Horror)

Postby mosc » Thu Aug 07, 2008 8:21 pm UTC

Hmm, I'd say it's both. I mean to some extent yes, I am just saying I don't like horror and I wish all the horror games were crap and all the good games didn't have horror so I'd never feel any reason to PLAY a game with horror. But yes too, I'd have to say the horror was poorly done.

-Thing coming at you when it's too dark to see, probably making positional noises
-Lock the perspective (say, put you in a room with a window that you can't get out of and have to watch something happen on the other side) and watch something "horrific"
-have something make scary noises from a different area you cannot reach.

I mean, really, they're all just ways of removing interactivity from the game and games being an interactive media, it bothers me. In fact, I think I don't like horror movies for much the same reason. They seem to be scary because of what the viewer is unable to do. You want them to turn around and see what's behind them when the jaws-type atmospheric music kicks in but instead the camera moves agonizingly slowly to maximize the jolt when something changes quickly and unexpectedly.

It just seems particularly annoying in an interactive media. Does that help clarify?
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Re: Why, videogames, why? (Horror)

Postby Belial » Thu Aug 07, 2008 8:34 pm UTC

I guess. Those are all just ways of evoking fear, though. The point of any sort of entertainment or artistic endeavour is to evoke emotion, after all. Declaring one of them off-limits seems kindof odd.

Personally, I like to have the whole range available.
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Re: Why, videogames, why? (Horror)

Postby mosc » Thu Aug 07, 2008 8:55 pm UTC

I don't mind fear though, that's not it. I loved getting lost in Morrowind when I first played it. When you're in an empty house playing solo like that and wild animals are actually capable of taking out your character, it does generate some fear. Also, you're always worried when you have to duck into some cave or whatever to avoid the baddies outside knowing full well the stuff inside could be worse.

You get fear too in a lot of shooters other than bioshock as the game sends enemy after enemy at you and your health starts to drop and your guns start running low... In HL2:e2 there was a great part where you had to avoid an antlion that I loved. The think could kill you in seconds and had you running for cover repeatedly but at the same time you knew where it was and had freedom to move around.

Maybe that's not the same thing you're talking about though?
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Re: Why, videogames, why? (Horror)

Postby Belial » Thu Aug 07, 2008 9:29 pm UTC

Well, sortof and not.

The old white wolf "Book of the Wyrm" set aside a few pages for talking about evoking fear in (roleplaying) games, and they made the clever separation of such attempts into "Terror" and "Horror", which I'm going to find quite useful here.

Terror is basically fear of physical harm. It's the slasher, or jaws, or those animals coming after you in morrowind. The fear is straightforward: I am afraid that this thing is going to catch me and do physical harm to me, possibly killing me.

It's good, as far as it goes, and in real life it probably has about as much impact as more horror-driven fear-inducers. But in entertainment media, it's limited by how immersed you are: if you're not terribly invested in your character (or the characters on the screen, for movies), then the attempt holds no fear for you, the player (reader, viewer, etcetera). And even when it does hold fear, it's only in a pulse-pounding, adrenaline pumping, oh-shit-run sort of way. This is the sort of fear you're describing in first person shooters and the like.

Horror is more psychological. It relies on a feeling of wrong-ness, with or without an accompanying threat. The threat is, often, the threat of seeing the imagery in question at all, of being forced to experience whatever the focus of the horror is and come out the other side. Horror is often evoked by what is unseen but hinted at, allowing the mind to fill in the details with whatever it finds most upsetting.

Take, for example, the sensation of believing yourself to be alone in your bedroom, in the middle of the night, and then rolling over to see a pair of eyes staring in at you from the window. Even if they immediately disappear and flee without posing any threat, the moment itself is just..... horrifying. You can wig yourself out pretty thoroughly just by imagining it and then looking at your window. I find in such situations that I'm more scared of the proposition of seeing the eyes at all than of any implications their presence might have. That's horror.

Horror cuts far deeper in entertainment media especially because it doesn't rely on immersion and investment. The imagery, the situations, the atmospheres are horrifying directly to the viewer, and the character on the screen is just a sort of surrogate to introducing them.

Furthermore, the sensation of horror is different. Compared to the heart-pounding, adrenaline pumping sort of rush of terror, this kind of fear is almost an entirely different emotion. It's creeping, uneasy, and chilling. It often comes on slowly, as a sort of clenching in your stomach and a tingling up your spine, building to a climax of just total what-the-fuck catatonic trauma. And unlike terror, it lingers. It stays with you. It comes up later in your nightmares, or when you're staring at a blank wall. For this sort of fear, reference: Fatal Frame, Silent Hill, certain aspects of Condemned, certain situations in Bioshock.

So, yes, what you were describing were instances of evoking fear, but they are limited to one side of the spectrum of the experience of fear, and that side of the spectrum is the side with the least effectiveness at affecting the audience in my experience.
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Re: Why, videogames, why? (Horror)

Postby Account20151023 » Thu Aug 07, 2008 10:06 pm UTC

Belial wrote:Condemned


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Re: Why, videogames, why? (Horror)

Postby mosc » Thu Aug 07, 2008 10:16 pm UTC

Well, again, it seems to me the kind of horror your talking about by definition requires the unknown, unexplorable, or similar. It's inherently non-immersive in many ways. You don't see that as somewhat fundamentally at odds with the gaming medium?
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Re: Why, videogames, why? (Horror)

Postby nsmjohn » Thu Aug 07, 2008 10:35 pm UTC

I played Bioshock and although I found some of it creepy it didn't really scare me. Silent Hill 2 however... I played only about 5-10 minutes of a friend's game and will probably never play it again. What happened? I entered a room, the music change immediately made me fear for my life... I don't even know if there was anything in the room, I was too scared to look. As soon as I heard the music I went into panic mode and did everything I could to get out of that room as fast as possible.

My biggest problem with most "horror" games is that they usually fall into one of two categories; FPS Survival or 3rd Person Puzzle Survival. There is very little variation. Sure the stories are different, but in the end you are still conserving shotguns shells for fast moving monster A, or hunting for the missing pieces of Sculpture B. Always, always, keeping an eye on windows and boarded up doors.

What I really want is someone to mess with the formula. A game where the focus isn’t killing and there are no puzzles to solve (except the story). The only point will be to survive. A game that messes with your senses (have your glasses break in one section, lose your hearing in another, get slipped shrooms/other hallucinogen in a third). Oh, and no monsters, you’re running from people; in broad daylight nonetheless. Wait… do we have a Video Game Ideas thread, I actually have a lot of this plotted in my head (been thinking of it for a couple months now).
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Re: Why, videogames, why? (Horror)

Postby Belial » Fri Aug 08, 2008 12:21 am UTC

mosc wrote:Well, again, it seems to me the kind of horror your talking about by definition requires the unknown, unexplorable, or similar. It's inherently non-immersive in many ways. You don't see that as somewhat fundamentally at odds with the gaming medium?


Not really. Any game has restrictions. Places you can't go. Things you can't reach. Ranges of motion and vision that aren't open to you. Unless it's a total sandbox game like GTA, which is a type of game certainly but hardly the platonic form of gaming as a whole.
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Re: Why, videogames, why? (Horror)

Postby aion7 » Fri Aug 08, 2008 9:09 pm UTC

nsmjohn wrote:My biggest problem with most "horror" games is that they usually fall into one of two categories; FPS Survival or 3rd Person Puzzle Survival. There is very little variation. Sure the stories are different, but in the end you are still conserving shotguns shells for fast moving monster A, or hunting for the missing pieces of Sculpture B. Always, always, keeping an eye on windows and boarded up doors.

What I really want is someone to mess with the formula. A game where the focus isn’t killing and there are no puzzles to solve (except the story). The only point will be to survive. A game that messes with your senses (have your glasses break in one section, lose your hearing in another, get slipped shrooms/other hallucinogen in a third). Oh, and no monsters, you’re running from people; in broad daylight nonetheless. Wait… do we have a Video Game Ideas thread, I actually have a lot of this plotted in my head (been thinking of it for a couple months now).

Genius! That is the kind of horror game I would love.

Now let me talk about Resident Evil. The games before RE4 had terrible controls and camera, but were practically the definition of the horror genre. Four has good controls and a decent camera. Four is not a horror game. RE4 is a Third person shooter, and action game, but not a horror game. From what I've seen of Five, it looks like something in between. The camera looks bad, but better than the early Resident Evils', and it seems to have a bit more horror than Four, but not as centered on it as the previous games were. My thoughts? Make up your minds, Capcom!
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Re: Why, videogames, why? (Horror)

Postby SecondTalon » Fri Aug 08, 2008 9:48 pm UTC

mosc wrote:Well, again, it seems to me the kind of horror your talking about by definition requires the unknown, unexplorable, or similar. It's inherently non-immersive in many ways. You don't see that as somewhat fundamentally at odds with the gaming medium?

Though Belial already said it, games always have limitations, no matter what. It comes at it's most jarring in the sandbox games like GTA3+ series, where after getting so much explorative freedom, you've suddenly found an invisible wall that you merely slam in to, or the few times they show up with bulletproof cars - after learning to explode cars via a variety of methods, finding that those methods no longer work in a mission because the game designers want you to chase the guy up this hill and have a shootout in his house.

Now, the unknown... well, that's the point of some horror.. that whatever the creature or force is, it's completely unknown, unexplainable, there's bits and pieces here and there that kinda talk about it but for the most part the in-game explanation is "It's evil and possibly magic or something, I don't know".. that's part of the horror.. of having everything else in the game conform to certain laws (be those laws based on reality or some crazy fantasy land physics) and here's this *thing* that can break those laws on a whim and it wants to cause you bodily (and possibly spiritual) harm.

The gaming medium will always have things that make no sense - monsters appearing from nowhere, large metropolises that are inhabited by what appears to be fewer people than were in your high school english class, creatures that are completely impervious to damage because the game designers need that person alive until the cutscene where they're killed in a dramatic fashion, and so on. Using those limitations of the medium to their advantage to craft a horror game is just another way of working around them.

Now, the seizing control to make sure you watch some horrible thing through a window.. that's just bad game design. You should be free to run up to the window, or walk on and ignore it, possibly even break the window to try and help or whatever. (Unless it's an Acme Unbreakable Unobtainium Window, of course)
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