Fear is used in many games and in several different ways from Jump scares, psychological horror and gory games. For this task I had to look at how others in the Game’s Industry used fear in their games and what did they use to do it.
Five Nights at Freddie’s:
I have played this game and find it rather terrifying. Not due to monsters or violence but because you know what is coming, you just don’t know when.
You start the game and you get the phone call which gives you a bit of the story and its like ok I have to survive till 6am…easy.
You can look at the cameras and its all good, you look around to see all the animatronics on stage not moving, you look somewhere else and look back and one is gone. I thought…where has he gone? You then get one camera not working and you notice two of them are now missing, you find one in the dining area and one in the hallway. You turn the lights on in the doorways to check and one is there and then not so you know they are getting closer.
Then you either survive the night and make it to 6am or you keep checking the lights and suddenly he is right in front of you which is scary.
Jump scares and fear of the unknown is what Five Nights of Freddie’s is about. It is a clever game, they don’t give out all the plot about what has happened at Freddie’s.
Automatonophobia and sound (the pattering of feet) are also used to make this a very tense game, you can’t run away or avoid them coming for you, you literally have to wait.
“Automatonophobia can be loosely defined as the fear of wax figures, humanoid robots, audio animatronics, or other figures designed to represent humans. Only rarely does the fear become a full-blown phobia, but it is relatively common to experience hesitation or nervousness when confronting these figures.”
The story continues with the rest of the games and you learn more of the story about what happened as you progress through the games. It turns out that at a party an employee killed 5 children and turns out that these children haunt the place and control the animatronics.
Arachnophobia – Fear of Spiders.
This is a good way to scare people as many people are afraid of spiders because they have 8 hairy legs and lots of eyes. Because they move in an unpredictable way and look far from human (its down to the amount of legs), makes them very scary.
I created a show reel on Jump scares of various things from audio alone to monsters, apparitions and things that looked human.
The experiment succeeded in a way because my prediction for this was that it wouldn’t be entirely scary. The way we respond to our surroundings takes into account Visual and Audio and one by themselves probably isn’t that scary because you could have a picture of a demon while listening to the Fur de-lise and not really that scary or watching bunnies in a field while playing creepy music in the background which could be fairly amusing.
This following clip says it all and is fairly amusing. Cyber punks dancing to Thomas the tank engine.
People would come across this group and think that they could be fairly creepy just standing there, apply a Thomas the Tank Engine theme tune and all I want to do is laugh because it looks silly.
Visual and audio needs to be together to be successful to be horrifying unless you take away both, to be truly alone in the dark is also equally scary because again it is the fear of the unknown. We constantly rely on visual and audible cues to ground us and without that the imagination has the opportunity to fill in the blanks and that is truly terrifying.
Below we have a clip of Cyber Goths dancing to Thomas the Tank Engine, normally a group like this together could be intimidating but to see them dance to Thomas the Tank Engine makes it humorous. So audio has a huge part to play on how we perceive different events around us.
Alone and in the dark:
There are many ways to in still fear in someone in a game. You have physiological fear, Jump scares, violence and just plain terrifying like clowns.
The Japanese are very good at creating horror movies and games, The ring, Fatal Frame 1,2 and 3 and the Silent Hill Series. The closer something is to being real the scarier it is. If I was to watch Aliens or It Follows then I would say It follows is far more scary because it looks human (Automatonophobia).
With the game Fatal Frame you don’t have any weapons as such to defend yourself in a haunted environment, if you want to survive then you have to get close to the thing that you are afraid of. This is a nice twist to a games mechanics and probably truly terrifying.
What Is Automatonophobia?
Automatonophobia can be loosely defined as the fear of wax figures, humanoid robots, audio animatronics, or other figures designed to represent humans. Only rarely does the fear become a full-blown phobia, but it is relatively common to experience hesitation or nervousness when confronting these figures.
In-text: (Fritscher, 2017)
Your Bibliography: Fritscher, L. (2017) “What Is Automatonophobia?”, Very Well. Available at: https://www.verywell.com/automatonophobia-2671847 (Accessed: 24 February 2017).
Cyberpunks Dance To Thomas The Tank Engine. 2014. Web. 10 Mar. 2017.
Dr Who – Hey, Who Turned Out The Lights?. 2010. Web. 10 Mar. 2017.