So I know it’s been a while since I’ve posted. In retrospect it probably wasn’t a good idea to start a blog and move out of my parent’s house at the same time. But anywho, horror games! I love them! Survival horror is one of my favorite genres for many reasons including puzzle solving, managing scarce resources, and generally messed up storylines. But here’s an interesting fact that I was thinking about the other day: I hate horror movies.
I usually don’t try to compare games to movies, but this was really bugging me. Why do I despise horror movies, but LOVE horror games? Part of it is probably the lack of control in movies. You always tell them not to go through the door BUT THEY DO ANYWAY! When playing a horror game, you really get a sense of survival. Who cares if one of the actors dies? But when you control a player within the horror, trying to survive becomes your focus and lets you chose a strategy as part of the game, which is great fun.
But here is the weird part: the main reason I hate horror movies is that I don’t like being scared. As a child, I used to dream up nightmares about a scary movie I saw that turned out to be even scarier than the movie. My mother, being tired of me bothering her in the middle of the night, didn’t let me watch any more scary movies. Hence, now a movie that most would find moderately scary, I find absolutely terrifying! But Silent Hill is one of my favorite games of all time. And no, I know what you’re thinking. Despite the old graphics, Silent Hill still scares the shit out of me. So, do I like being scared by games? Yes?
I’m still trying to figure this out myself. If I didn’t like to be scared by games and just tolerated them by being in control, then that would make sense. Yet, I feel that I there is something about the horror in games that I enjoy rather than despise. Perhaps it’s the sense of overcoming that obstacle of being scared, or maybe my tastes have changed over the years. The true test would be when I play Dead Space 1 and 2. I’ll get back to you after I’m done with the therapy.
Disclaimer: I have not watched the Silent Hill movie