January 27, 2016

Things That Go Bump


Fun fact: I'm a little bitty scaredy cat. Ask anyone who knows what my high-fives feel like- If there's a shadow down the hall or a sound around the corner, I'm turning around and packing up in most cases. In other words: "Nope!"

So for the most part, scary games have been regarded on the same level. Nope, no thanks, not here, no. I just try to let them pass through my dash when they're popular and maybe look into the lore when they're popular so I know what's going on. I'm not one for cheap jump scares, because even though they're "cheap", they're jump scares and they don't belong in my brain for the few hours afterward. Even when it comes down to something being eerie or just a little off, I'm not one to go further. Is this how I want to spend my time? I ask myself.



Things started to change when I began playing more games. Firstly was Dear Esther, which I supposed was just an exploration-based island to roam. When I discovered ghosts staring back through puddles, phantom moans in the soundtrack, and other things leading to my fears, I found myself progressing through for at least one playthrough just to get through the game since I was so close to finishing. I spent the entire third arc on edge, waiting for something- anything, even though I had no grounds on which to expect it. But I finished Dear Esther, and I still hold my head up high for it.

Shortly after Dear Esther, I played Portal 2. The eerieness of destroyed, then old-time Aperture gave me the shivers, and it took me a few tries at times to get myself going. But I as well got through that.

As I started to take more risks in games, getting used to ambushes in MMOs and the creepy whatever-they-are in Nihilumbra and Feist, I noticed less and less that I was overcoming what I was scared of before. I started to approach danger and deal with it instead of sitting in one place for an hour, pretending to plan instead of doing some decent experimentation and actually getting better at the game.

It was when I played Undertale that I noticed my tolerance changing. As many are aware, there's this...er, part in the end of one of the moral paths you as a character can take. You can click the picture below to see what I mean. Don't say I didn't warn you...

click for spoilers
When I got to this fight, I had no idea what to expect. I'd stayed clean of spoilers of it and went in blind. What appeared to me took on the form of everything that scared me, from fast-moving parts and distorted faces to other things more specific to the boss itself. And yet, I didn't freeze. I didn't pause for a breath. Frankly, I couldn't, but I knew deep down that if I had the option, I probably wouldn't have. I was ready to face this creature and take it down.


A few days later, I was sitting in a room doing whatever it was that I was doing that particular day. It wasn't special. What stood out, though, was that about an hour into my busywork, the fire alarm in the room blared for five seconds, the lights switching off, shrouding the room in blackness except for the flashing bulb in the alarm. Then it stopped. Everything went back to normal. I looked behind my shoulders and to the left and right.

Then I turned to the next page in the source I was referencing and went on with my day.

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What is your experience and tolerance to scary games? Have horror games impacted your real life? Let's talk about that in the comments below. <3

1 comment:

  1. Nicely said. The "Scary" games I have tried just didn't scare me at all. I even tried the recommended playing it at night, alone, in the dark with headphones and I STILL wasn't scared. It was just silly. I do enjoy some of them with great graphics and nice effects in the "scary" parts. I appreciate all that went into them, just not scared. Good time, no fear. :D

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