So you may or may not know that horror games make up my absolute favourite genre. Just love them. It's why Quake appealed so much, over say, Counter-Strike. I love them because of the agency: instead of watching dumb screamy people walk around dark houses without turning the lights on, I get to sit in my living room and stand at the entrance of a room, and not go in. It's so satisfying.
I go in eventually, of course. Resident Evil (the crows!) is a breeze compared to something like Project Zero, the first of which had me screeching at the telly (and throwing the rumblepak across the room) while my flatmate shook with laughter from the sofa.
Anyway, I am pleased and entertained to read that Clive, of Wired, is even worse than me.
I'd only been playing BioShock for 15 minutes, and already I was trembling like a little girl.
Friend, little girls are tough as nails. But anyway:
In a game, of course, the fourth wall is obliterated, and you actually do have the choice about whether to go into The Bad Room or to run screaming. If you're a total coward (like me) this ability to control your fate induces considerably more suspense, because I head-game myself into a frenzy. I'll start down a corridor, hear something freaky up ahead, then freeze in panic. Maybe if I stay quiet the monster will go away? Shit, maybe it's already headed this way, and I should move! But if I move the monster will hear me ... so maybe I should stay quiet ... gaaaaah!
There it is. Agency. Great horror movies have characters whose agency is still within reach, like The Ring and Ring 2 (the Japanese versions!). Speaking of which, holy crap, Project Zero 3's been out for ages and I didn't notice..!?
That's it. I'm building a horror collection when I get back to London.