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Shinji Mikami and Horror Today:
Level 9999Shinji Mikami says that gamers are more resistant to horror. Comments say that the [average Japanese developer] is simply uninspired. One comment says that they should take a note from Dark Souls. People are harder to scare; I don't think that's the genre's fault.
I believe he's partially right. To use myself as an example, the last movie to truly scare me was the The Ring. In particular it was that one scene where the girl suddenly crawls out of the TV screen and starts crawling and "jumping frames" towards the character. But do you know WHY I found it so terrifying? It was because up until that point, nobody knew the girl had the ability to do that: we all assume the fatalities were through some other means, not herself in person. The only clue was an extremely subtle one with the fly that managed to crawl out of the TV image and into the real world, but most folks shrugged it off as a typical creepy moment or some type of hallucination/bad dream since it was somewhat low-key. But all the other movies, on the other hand, tend to give you a strong clue as to what is going to be scary or focus on trying to be as gory as possible: the SAW, Human Centipede and Texas Chainsaw Massacre movies were a good example of this. The result (at least for me) was I focused on the details of the death and special effects: at no point was I even remotely scared. The same has happened with videogames. They are largely focused upon making sure that you have a "fair and fun" experience with a strong cinematic feel, and this often results in the developers removing any situation or issue that might make a player feel helpless and instead choosing to make things formulaic and somewhat predictable. The Dead Space games and the last few Resident Evil games had this in spades: there was no situation where a player could end up dooming themselves to a hopeless battle, run down the wrong corridor and get cornered by a really powerful monster, or situations that made you feel truly helpless and weak. Nope, at all points you were pretty much in control, and if played by an experienced gamer, you'd just cruise through the enemies like another typical action game.
Would you believe I never fully watched the original Indiana Jones trilogy? I gotta correct that someday.
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