When it came to designing a digital artefact that would relate to aspects of gaming practice, I struggled due to the fact that I, myself, am not a gamer. However, through the use of mind-mapping and research, I found myself within a particular niche that I enjoy whilst also finding a really interesting topic to investigate for myself. I will be delving into the question of why we, as game consumers, consume the disturbing nature of horror games marketed towards us. This will be taken a step further into discussing Aristotle’s query into the human psyche and why we are attracted to things that disturb us. I think that investigating this in term soft h gaming design world will be incredibly interesting as it provides the opportunity to compare to other forms of horror design whilst allowing myself as a non0gamer to investigate the gaming community at a new perspective.
As the video game industry is outpacing the movie industry as time goes by, horror games such as Five Nights At Freddie’s trending on platforms such as TikTok, the psychology behind the media is incredibly interesting. While we have in the past investigated the possible violent effects of video games, I find it more interesting to take this a step further and ask why we ingest this media in the first place if it is designed and marketed to be ‘scary’. Some background research that interested me and would be incredibly useful in my study was found on Digest (2020). Teresa Lynch and Nicole Martins of Indiana University looked at college students’ experiences with horror video games and found that about half of their sample (53 per cent) had tried playing such games and been frightened by them. They also found that: horror games produce these fright responses by targeting our evolved defence system (evolution has shaped us to be easily scared by the dangers that threatened our ancestors). Users being paratexts to the game and actually bringing the game to life is what makes games scary so investigating why we do this continually and on a somewhat addictive level will be incredibly beneficial.