quarta-feira, 13 de novembro de 2013

Using fear as narrative in video games: origins

In the last few years we had lots of iconic survival horror games launched around the world for video game consoles. Just to give a few examples, we can bring to our discussion Silent Hill 4: The Room (Playstation 2, 2004), Slender (Parsec Productions, 2012) and Alan Wake (Microsoft Game Studios, 2010). All these games are very scary and possess sophisticated features in their narratives but it’s important to look to the past to understand the origins of horror in video games.

One of the first horror narratives in video game was used in an Atari game named Haunted House (Atari, 1982). With very limited interface and resources, the game creates a classic horror movie atmosphere with a house full of bats, phantoms and traps. The player commands a pair of eyes in the dark trying to find pieces of an ancient ark.

You can check a game play video below:

The game is very simple and there’s a fundamental detail that puts the player inside the gaming reality: the illustration on the cover of the box. The drawing dialogues with the player about the ambient of the game, and it’s possible to understand better the game mechanics (a good text about this subject could be found here).

2 comentários:

  1. Nice post! I really enjoyed it. The diversion makes an examplary thriller environment with a house full of bats, apparitions and traps. The player orders a couple of eyes in the dull attempting to find bits of an antiquated ark.


  2. Thanks Hayley. I'm working in a deep text about this subject. I'll publish soon. =)