For a long time, I wasn’t a big fan of horror. I had a little phase as a young teen of watching horror movies, but they all felt the same after awhile.
Until I discovered Amnesia: The Dark Descent. (Warning, very old video for this one.)
I don’t know why I fell in love, but I did. I watched about five people play through the game, and as they all uncovered and theorized different things, each experience was unique. It was fun, too, because some of my favorite Let’s Players (people who record themselves playing games with commentary) started off with Amnesia as the first game they posted.
It taught me a lot about storytelling in ways I would have never thought, being a fantasy author. Amnesia, for example, taught me how suspense could make you squirm for hours.
And how about taking your expectations and twisting them against you in unexpected ways? Five Nights at Freddy’s is renowned for creating it’s own new niche in the horror genre, taking elements found in different game genres and applying them in a terrifying new format:
And the Deep Sleep series. It’s a point and click game, the most inconspicuous genre in existence. And they will knock the pants right off you:
How about killing it on jump scaring? A jump scare is something popping out of nowhere just to scare you – often seen as a cheap trick. But The Witch’s House jumpscares make sense. These scares get into your bones because, what’s going to come next? It’s a great lesson in surprising, yet inevitable:
Last, but the opposite of least: The Last of Us. Hands-down the most thematically strong story I have experienced. Not so strong on the horror side, but it will bring your mind to dark places, make you wonder what it’s like to be truly human. It does take a little while in to pick up, but if you only experience one of these games, make it this one:
And that’s all Tumblr will let me show in one blog post!
So study outside your genre. Study outside your medium. Don’t just think outside of the box, jump into all the boxes, examine what’s inside, and steal all its secrets.
Whoops, almost forgot to post this on the group blog. Look, its a thing!