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 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.
I focused on the iteration stage of this project and utilised the feedback that I had received to make the appropriate changes that would ultimately benefit the project. These changes are listed within my beta but have shown to be extremely helpful for myself and moving my project along its course.
My academic and social research has been one of the most effective parts of my Digital Artefact so far. In terms of non-academic research, the observation of YouTube videos and social media such s Reddit and Instagram has been incredibly helpful in terms of finding out why people think the way they do about the gaming world. It has helped on a casual basis to find out why these individuals personally wish to play these games and why they continue to do so/ how they cope.
In terms of academic research, I have listed two sources below that I utilised as a starting point for my DA. These two scholarly sources were extremely helpful in terms of finding out the psychology behind what I am researching the professional opinions of those more suited to the topic. This allows me to base my own research off of this and come to a conclusive answer. The two sources I found most helpful were Horror Video Games: Essays on the Fusion of Fear and Play by Bernard Perron and Gaming Horror’s Horror: Representation, Regulation, and Affect in Survival Horror Videogames by Tanya Krzywinska.