Sunday, 9 June 2013

'Last Flight Out' 1950's Horror And Horror In Gaming

For more influence from the 1950’s era I have been looking at popular sources of horror and suspense, at the time the main modes of entertainment were TV, Films and Radio and there were an abundance of script writers and directors creating ever more compelling drama and horror. One of the most notable directors was Alfred Hitchcock who is regarded as a master of suspense and tension, especially in his films such as ‘Rope’ (1948) and ‘Rear Window’ (1954). During this time he also hosted a TV program named ‘Alfred Hitchcock Presents’ which consisted of short drama and horror stories which were not violent and gory, but focused on subtle psychological horror.


Another popular source of horror during the 1950’s was the TV program ‘The Twilight Zone’ which is possibly one of the most recognised programs which explored the ideas of suspense and horror. Stories on ‘The Twilight Zone’ often take a subtle approach towards horror focusing on the aspect of psychological horror which affects the audience’s state of mind, luring them into a state of fear without exposing them to violence or gore.


The idea of creating a sense of fear without using extreme violence or gore is very rarely achieved in modern media and especially in video games. Audiences have become desensitised to such things because the images which we see are clear, whereas the things that we don’t see are those which truly frighten us. This is displayed in the simplest form as a fear of the dark, or to be more precised, a fear of the unknown. A creature lurking in the shadow, following and creeping without exposing it’s self is much more frightening than a huge monster with many arms that presents itself boldly in the light. I hope to achieve a true sense of fear in my design by utilising the shadows to their fullest extent and playing upon this primal fear.

The most notable game which is regarded as truly frightening in passing years is ‘Amnesia: The Dark Descent’. ‘Amnesia’ is the perfect example of how using the basic fear of the unknown can create a terrifying gaming experience. The most notable moment in this game is the area dubbed by fans the ‘Water Demon’ section, where all you can see of this creature are the splashes in the water as it hunts you down.

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