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On Playing Horror Games: What Brings You to Them?

With Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs and Outlast out and about and scaring the poo out of people, I find myself wondering how long it’ll take me to work up the courage to play those games. I played Amnesia: The Dark Descent a grand total of two times, and I can’t say I had fun with it. My mind, body and soul were all in agreement for once and simply wanted me to get the hell out of there and hide under my bed covers. The only game similar to Amnesia that I’ve played since then has been…nothing; mostly because I’m a complete wuss, but also because I have a thing for sleeping, napping and not falling prey to nightmares.

I’ve seen other people play games like Amnesia and Outlast, as well as heard of some who have managed to finish them, and I can’t begin to wrap my mind around that; it’s amazing to me. How do they finish games like that and walk away with their sanity (what’s left of it) intact? Or maybe they don’t and they’re just really good at pretending to be a rational human being.

Some people play horror games because of the thrill or to earn the bragging rights that come with finishing games of that ilk. Me? I play the occasional horror game out of curiosity. Which –full disclosure—will probably lead to my own demise. Curiosity is what led me to play Amnesia: The Dark Descent, and within 30 minutes I understood the old, but very much still relevant saying: ‘Curiosity killed the Cat.’ Not that I physically died from playing Amnesia, mind you, but what a great story that would be, right?

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I’ve said in the past that I’m either the best, or the worst person to take to a haunted house. Best because you would see my amazingly terrifying reactions to all the scary stuff around me, and worst because I’d run screaming out of leave the area within 32.56 seconds of getting there and miss all the other scary parts that people put a lot of work into. But why would I even think about going to begin with? Well, as mentioned previously, out of curiosity, of course; it’s at its most convincing during the most inappropriate of situations. At least, it is in my case.

I actually don’t like being scared. It causes me to lose focus on whatever it is I’m trying to do and feeling paranoid is mentally exhausting. Again, I understand that, for some, it’s the thrill that brings them to horror games or any other scary piece of entertainment. Let it be known now that I’m also not a fan of roller-coasters, so any kind of thrilling sensation caused by doing something…edgy? Risky? Irrational? Whatever, any thrilling feeling that comes from something like that is not my thing, but if it’s yours, then hey, embrace it. I’ll content with watching from the sidelines and making jokes and silly comments.

I may not know when I’ll get around to playing Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs, Outlast, Among the Sleep and the rest, but I’m certain that my curiosity will be the main factor when the time comes. Until then, I’m perfectly fine with seeing others scare themselves silly and leaving you with the question: What brings you to horror games?



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