A Nine-Point Guide on How to Scare The3rdPlayer

20160731192339_1.jpgI would never call myself an expert on horror. I’ve watched a ton of horror films and played my weight in horror games so I’m no stranger to the tricks and tropes of the trade, either. I’ve gained enough of a reputation to be considered an aficionado, though, somewhere closer to an expert than a layman. What I do know is that after spending probably half of my life taking in an appreciated horror media is that I know what works for me and what doesn’t.

Something I’ve talked to a few folks on Twitter and in my life about is not necessarily what is done well or isn’t but what actually works to give you the creeps and keep you entertained. When it comes to films, for instance, a solid slasher movie will keep me watching while a lot of movies with possession or vampires don’t tend to strike the right chords for me. On the other hand, I know people who have the exact opposite inclinations. Some people are claustrophobic and can’t take certain camera angles. I know plenty of folks who can’t stand when movies victimize children because it feels like low hanging fruit for the sake of a reaction.

Games are a little different, though. There’s another level of immersion because you’re the one controlling the person going through the ordeal. By extension, these things are happening to you and if you want to finish the game, you’re going to go through a gauntlet of jumps, creeps, and “You Died” screens to see the end and find salvation. How do you know which horror games are for you, though? Do certain mechanics work more effectively toward embedding that dread into your bones? Are there effects that make you roll your eyes a bit or get so frustrated that you need to put your controller down for a minute to compose yourself?

Allow me to open up my own discussion with five ways that games can creep me out- and four ways a number of games have rubbed me the wrong way while trying. As always, since this is discussing a multitude of game mechanics and situations from video games, there will be spoilers below. Nothing that will ruin a game entirely, but it may take some of the punch out of some scares you might not want ruined. Consider yourself warned!
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5 Scary Games to Play This Season

Nothing terrifying here at all...

I absolutely love the Halloween season.  There’s a chill in the air, terror become rampant on most media outlets, and there is no shortage of thrills and chills to experience.  When I was younger, horror movies were where I could get most of my frights.  Anything horror related was pretty washed out so far as video games, my other prime source of entertainment, was concerned.

Now, though, there are more than enough white-knuckle gaming experiences out there to appeal to people who want to sit in a dark room with the lights off and their headphones on to get goosebumps while they roam through a dark mansion, a snow-covered forest, or any other environment you can imagine.  While I wouldn’t necessarily consider myself an expert on what does and does not deliver on scares from the video game world, here are five of the games that get me into the holiday spirit come October.  Whether you consider these tricks or treats is up to you, but for better or worse, these games (in no particular order) are the ones that remind me that film and TV aren’t the only things delivering some good and creepy stories in time for Halloween.

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