The First Person Horror Genre

Most likely all my readers know that last month, I did a 1 month special Let’s Play for October, of the first person shooter/horror game Dead Space. You may also know I did an Amnesia: The Dark Descent game earlier this year. Before Amnesia I didn’t know a lot, if anything, about the first person horror genre. I am a fan of being scared – I like to watch scary movies, visit haunted houses, read scary books, tell ghost stories and enjoy a friend who plays the practical “jump scare” jokes. There’s something exciting about the tension, I suppose.

Although the idea of a scary video game sounds appealing, I have yet to be completely unsettled by a video game’s ambiance, story, setting, mood, visuals, etc. Amnesia was a good game – the plot was interesting and the game succeeded in creating a “house of horrors” for the player to explore. But it was a bit of a worn-out and wearied tale, really, I think I’d even heard it somewhere before….

I enjoyed Amnesia but it didn’t provide quite as many scary moments as I expected, and the monsters were not obvious enough (to me) to avoid my running right into them. 

I think that creativity and ingenuity can be added to this genre in order to make some pretty cool stuff in future. Psychologically, learning to overcome fear is a very powerful skill of the mind and is a difficult one at that. I would like to think perhaps, that horror games could be a way of confronting a fear and helping to control it. I’d like to dedicate the rest of this post to…

…..a game called Nevermind, which is currently in development with the latest version of the game available with a $25 (at time of writing this) donation toward the game’s development on indiegogo. The game explores disturbing psychological traumas with the player as a sort of neuro scientist/psychologist, with a twist. Though I have not played the game myself, it seems an interesting concept. It requires the player to wear a heart rate monitor (need to buy this separately, along with a USB dongle to connect to PC) while they play. As the player’s heart rate increased from aprehension, tension, or fear, the game becomes more difficult; likewise, the game is easier when the player remains calm. For those of us who are very into having physiological shocks from the “jump scare” scenes, this game may persuade us to try and settle down. 

Here are some links if you would like more info on Nevermind:   – Home website of Nevermind  – indiegogo (see this for info on how you can get a copy/what you will need)  – a Let’s Play of Nevermind with TJSmithGaming  (this is the only one I can find on YouTube right now – let me know if you come across others)  – interview with Erin Reynolds, developer of Nevermind


That was NOT meant to be read as some shameless advertisement – I obviously don’t have financial interests in this game, nor am I to gain anything by mentioning it here, and I don’t have any first hand experience with it. But it’s a new and still, I believe, relatively unknown concept, that I just wanted to shed some light on. I found it interesting, and I hope you do too. 🙂



One thought on “The First Person Horror Genre

  1. I agree that the horror game genre does not necessary fulfill the “fear” expectation of players. However, horror itself is largely a personal projection. For example, I chickened out on Amnesia and refused to actually finish it, due to my tendency to throw my mouse around the room when I am startled. 🙂

    I also follow more of an eastern viewpoint, fear is in the unknown. Once it is well-known and can be logically explained, it isn’t frightening. Most popular games, and horror in general, rely on suspense “jump moments”, which is more popular and a far more prevalent western viewpoint, as it can allow players to act / believe they are more scared than they actually are. At the end of the day, game developers need to create fun, interactive games that sell well.

    However, I am a huge fan of thinking outside the box, and what Nevermind plans to accomplish sounds very cool. I’ll keep an eye on if they can successfully implement a game of what they conceptualize, or at least open eyes to further innovation.

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