terça-feira, 1 de junho de 2021

"Horror Ludens: Using Fear to Construct Meaning in Video Games" - my article for HCI International 2021

The HCI International 2021 (USA) conference will take place in July (online). I will present the article "Horror Ludens: Using Fear to Construct Meaning in Video Games". You can read the article by clicking here and you can play the game by clicking here!



Below, the article's summary:

Abstract. In this article, we discuss how fear can be a powerful element to construct meaning in some specific video games. Titles like Phantaruk, Alan Wake, Here they lie, and many others help us to find some answers in this scenario, but herein we intend to focus our attention on the game Rapid Eye Movement (PC, 2020-2021). Created by an independent Brazilian studio named Abysstrakt Games, and scheduled to be launched in late 2021, the game sets its action in a dreamlike ambient where the player has the role of a person inside a nightmare, looking for clues to set the time on different clocks, trying to wake up. As a methodological process to understand how it is possible to create meaning using fear in video games, we have employed a formal analysis of gameplay that “is based on studying a game independently of context, that is, without regarding which specific people are playing a specific instance of the game”. We have observed a group of players of Rapid Eye Movement in order to study how moments of horror and terror create an atmosphere of fear and, consequently, the meaning of the gaming experience. In this work, we present these impressions as a qualitative research, with the objective of identifying the main points inside the fearful experience of playing Rapid Eye Movement, in order to comprehend how terror, horror, anxiety and despair could be used to support the game design process.

Keywords: Horror, Video Game, Indie Game.

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