Real Fear, Virtual World: Horror Games


Whenever we engage in a form of media we are looking to feel emotions. We want to have an experience that rings true, that can affect us and leave us with things to think about. We can do this with any sort of entertainment, such as novels, music, film, TV, the theatre and comic books. We turn to these things for enjoyment but we often want to feel heartbreak, sorrow, loss and fear but in a safe way. Horror movies have always done this, as feeling sacred isn’t something we’d want in our day-to-day lives but we will happily tune into a film that can make us feel frightened. One medium that can effectively do this and has become more and more fascinated with horror is video games. Each year more and more horror themed games are released and they can all give you a scare.

One of the recent phenomenons in gaming and pop culture is Five Nights at Freddy’s. The game series made by just one person, Scott Cawthon, centres around the player taking the role of a night watchman at a children’s entertainment restaurant, in which the animatronic creatures come to life and the payer must survive until morning. It’s a simple premise and took the world by storm, with five games coming out within two years and sixth in development. The games have received a wide source of fame on sites such as YouTube and Twitch, in which player share their experiences and their scares with others. It’s easily one of the most successful horror game series of all time and has been extremely prominent with teenagers and children, with merchandise being found in a wide variety of stores.

Dead by Daylight is a survival horror game released in 2016 by Behaviour Interactive. The game has the premise of a slasher film, in which players must escape and survive areas that are hunted by a killer. What set this apart from similar game is that the killer is controlled by a real player. This online game enabled a wider variety of possibilities as now it’s harder for people to outwit the enemy or use A.I. exploits. This idea has been used more recently in Friday the 13th: The Game, which was a successful Kickstarter project that lets players take control of Jason and hunt other players in a virtual Camp Crystal Lake.

VR has been a useful tool for horror games as it can put your directly into the action. Watching, playing or reading horror media gives us a safe way of experiencing fear but VR can push us closer to the real thing. This has been used successfully in several games already, with open ended survival horror game Until Dawn using the technology well and the long running Resident Evil series opted to go first-person for the latest instalment so that virtual reality could be used to maximum effect for maximum scares. VR could also ramp up the fear in other games, such as the casino games offered via New Jersey Online Casinos, allowing for different feeling when playing, giving you a fright along with excitement.

Horror games aren’t just these obvious examples as you can add some fear into a wide range of genres. Mortal Kombat XL features many famous horror characters such as Jason, Leatherface, Alien and Predator, so rather than running from these monsters, you can fight them head on. Telltale’s The Walking Dead gives you story based horror, while the upcoming Metal Gear: Survive mixes the undead to the popular franchise.

With all these games mentioned and many more available and set for release, you are sure to find and experience a good scare within the safety of some video games.