Horror Is Like Sex: The Decline of Horror Video Games
LaughingMan, CineMax and B-Mask are joined by their long-time loyal ally and the CCS Video Podcast’s official artist, the Fuboo (Inverted-Mind-Inc), as they analyze the current state of horror video games when compared to years past. The CCS crew deliberates on what constitutes an immersive and/or memorable horror experience, citing classic and genuinely terrifying games such as Amnesia The Dark Descent, Resident Evil, Silent Hill, Illbleed, Dead Space, Clive Barker’s Undying, and … Luigi’s Mansion? But with games like Resident Evil 6, Dead Space 3, and recent Silent Hill games focusing on action instead of dread and terror, the Cheshire Cat Studios podcast offers insight on what measures need to be taken to salvage this rapidly dwindling genre.
Bonus features: LaughingMan divulges why he hasn’t played a single horror title since college! B-Mask’s embarrassing first horror experience! The Fuboo’s unexpected raunchy side! And the most horrific things in all creation: babies! Witness all of this and more in the latest installment of the CCS Video Podcast!
B-mask: Alright, HORROR GAMES!
The Fuboo : Whoo! My favorite!
LaughingMan: Eh, not mine.
The Fuboo : Oh really?
LaughingMan: *laughs* I used to play horror games. The last one I played all the way through was Silent Hill 2. But back in college I got gun-shy because I stared at one of those scary ghost popup pictures, and it freaked the fuck out of me. So I’m staring at this picture of an old house with a window and it said stare at the window because something will walk by. So I’m staring at this window and then this big fucking white ghost face screams at me. I fall out of my chair and hit my head on the space heater and I’m like OH MY GOD!
*group laughter*The Fuboo : Oh I hate those…LaughingMan: Yeah, that’s why I don’t play too many horror games anymore, they’re just jumpscares, mostly.
The Fuboo : I have a questionable philosophy about the horror genre of video games if you don’t mind me sharing…
B-Mask: No, go ahead.
LaughingMan: You’re the guest.
The Fuboo : *laughs* Well, to me horror is kinda like sex.
CineMax: Well that’s a great beginning!
CineMax: That’s going to be the title of the video. One million views in like 5 seconds.
B-Mask: Guys, I’m trying to hear the nudity, okay?
The Fuboo : Well they’re quite similar because the tension keeps building up until the point where you can’t take it anymore. And either way there’s screaming involved in the end…
The Fuboo : Sex, if you want it you can go out and get it. You can go out and buy a good horror game, invite it, let the tension build up. You want it. But jump scares, you’re not expecting it and it’s like BLYAH! out of no where. You kind of get raped.
*LaughingMan’s fit of hysteria*
LaughingMan: WOW… Jump scares are like rape!
The Fuboo : They are!
CineMax: Hello, my name is Sigmund Freud and I’d like to have a word with you.
B-Mask: Sigmund Freud jumps out of a closet!
B-Mask: But let’s face it, there’s always been a sexual connotation with all of these horror games. Maybe not with Amnesia: the Dark Descent, that’s purely psychological horror. But with games like Resident Evil, Left 4 Dead…
The Fuboo : Silent Hill.
LaughingMan: If I was James Sutherland from Silent Hill 2 and I knew that Pyramid Head was the manifestation of my own sexual frustration and self loathing, I’d be riding him around Silent Hill screaming “I’M SO HAPPY! I’M SO HAPPY!!!”
LaughingMan: I’d have to find a pay phone to call a doctor because my erection would last longer than 4 hours.
B-Mask: But it’s got to be like playing a violin, it can’t always constantly be scary obvious crap all the time, it really has to play you.
The Fuboo: It has to be less predictable.
LaughingMan: So what do you think of the decline of horror video games, obviously-
B-Mask: That would be like the jock, the unrefined lover. That would be Dead Space 3, which was all flash and no ‘bang’ if you get my meaning.
The Fuboo: Just like going to a strip club.
B-Mask: Exactly, it’s loud, it’s noisy, you don’t remember much about it but you know it’s there. And the first boss of Dead Space 3 is a giant drill. So the analogy is great!
LaughingMan: Melissa, you’ve definitely played quite a few horror games…
The Fuboo: Oh yeah. My love for horror didn’t start until, like, ten or eleven years ago. And my brother; he was playing this video game called Illbleed. And this thing was pretty gory. Well, I’ve always been a fan of gore — always have and always will be! But the thing is, in this game there were also these ‘shock events’. You know, these jump scares. And it was something as lame as a phone ringing to a dead body suddenly lunging towards you all the while violently shaking and screaming. And it was terrifying, but for some odd reason I LOVED it. You know, it provided me with this sensation I never felt before, and I wanted MORE of it! So, here I am.
B-Mask: My problem is, I’m probably the reason the industry is dying because my first experience with a horror game was Luigi’s Mansion (for the Nintendo Gamecube).
LaughingMan: *Laughs hysterically*
The Fuboo: Really?!
B-Mask: Busting ghosts… You know, made me feel good. Well, it’s got some genuinely creepy moments. Like in the very first bit there’s a moment that, you know, as a kid I find it terrifying. You go up the stairs and suddenly these portraits start talking to you. And they’ve got sort of… They look very realistic, they’re not particularly Mario caricatured. And the rest of the ghosts of the game look, you know, cartoony and silly. But stuff like that, that really got me! You know, I was like: “Oh, these creepy portraits are telling me I’m gonna die. And now the lights went out. And the phone’s ringing while no-one’s in the house… Ugh!”
I think they may have been onto something there, but you know… *Laughs*
LaughingMan: You almost have to be almost at the mercy of the environment.
The Fuboo: Oh yeah.
LaughingMan: The minute you get the upper hand on your environment, then the entire thing goes straight to hell. Silent Hill 2; played through it the first time. Friggin’ beautiful, awesome game. Scary as shit. And then I played through it a second time and then I made the mistake of finding the chain saw with the unlimited gasoline.
The Fuboo: Oh…
LaughingMan: Now, the minute you got that fucker, you’re running through the town like fucking… Ash from Evil Dead (Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead series).
The Fuboo: RAAAAAAWR!
LaughingMan: Exactly! I’m going like: “I AM THE LORD OF THE HARVEST! MUA-HA-HA-HA-HA!”
The Fuboo & B-Mask: LOL.
B-Mask: I hate to use the Luigi’s Mansion analogy again, but I was just literally reading a review for Luigi’s Mansion 2 (Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon) and they said that it’s missing something because the portrait ghosts aren’t there. For those who don’t know: In the first game (Luigi’s Mansion for the Nintendo Gamecube), as you went into other rooms, sometimes there were ghosts of dead people who had inhabited the mansion in a previous life. And you really felt like you were intruding on their living space and that’s why they were hostile.
LaughingMan: Right. It’s the setting and the atmosphere!
B-Mask: *Laughs* Exactly! I mean, you could almost sound sarcastic there because it’s Mario, but exactly. It’s the fact that it’s the environment versus you. And in the new game, apparently, they’ve taken that way and that suddenly takes away a whole level of creepiness and depth to it that it may have had before. I mean, I know it’s Luigi’s Mansion so you shouldn’t take it particularly seriously. But I feel… Because I’ve played Amnesia (Amnesia: The Dark Descent) recently. One of the reasons why I really loved that game was because it’s genuinely terrifying because you have nothing. You have absolutely nothing to defend yourself. And you are completely at the mercy of what’s going on around you. And that’s so much more interesting to play through, and so much more creepier, then if you’re going around with… I don’t know. Five arms and six dozen chain saws and it’s like: “DUN NA NA DUN DUN DUN DUN NA NA!”
The Fuboo: *Chuckles*
B-Mask: You know, it’s just like…
The Fuboo: That’s exactly my problem with the horror genre today. You know, because back in the day you had Resident Evil 1. You play as either Chris Redfield or Jill Valentine. If you play as Chris Redfield, you’re equipped with a friggin’ knife, you know. And every time you enter a room with a zombie in it, you’re like: “Oh crap!” And then you leave the room, get yourself prepared. But now, with Resident Evil 6, you’re not equipped with a handgun anymore. You’re equipped with, like, an AK-47 or something like that. And now, I guess I heard in Resident Evil 6 the zombie shoot back.
LaughingMan: What the fuck?!
B-Mask: Oh! Are you serious?
The Fuboo: Like, what the hell?
CineMax: Resident Evil 6 is not about horror anymore. It’s not about the atmosphere. Hell, it’s not even about the fucking zombies. It’s all about the spectacle. Resident Evil 6 is essentially what would happen if Michael Bay and suda 51 (Goichi Suda) got high and decided to make a video game. I mean, it features a scene where you ride a motorcycle into a helicopter in super slow-motion…
B-Mask: Are you actually serious?
CineMax: Yes, you can look it up on YouTube.
The Fuboo: *Facetiously* Explosions in the background…
CineMax: Basically you have to jump from rooftop to rooftop…
The Fuboo: Oh my god…
CineMax: And there’s also a level where a fucking tank is following you through a mansion…
The Fuboo: A TANK?!
CineMax: Yes. A tank.
The Fuboo: Is this Metal Gear Solid or something? WHAT THE HELL?!
LaughingMan: *Facetiously* Is it a zombie tank?
B-Mask: I was about to say… Max, this sounds hilarious, but it doesn’t sound scary at all.
CineMax: I know. Which is why I’m bringing it up.
B-Mask: I know. I’m just saying. *Laughs*
The Fuboo: Megatron (Transformers) comes along. RAWR!
CineMax: Like I said, if this were a collaboration between Michael Bay and Suda 51 (Goichi Suda), then yes. The tank would’ve transformed into Megatron.
CineMax: And would’ve fired ponies… on fire.
B-Mask: Now THAT would’ve been a jump scare!
LaughingMan: *Mimicking Megatron’s voice* TWILIGHT SPARKLE! RAWR!
The Fuboo: Well, the thing is: Modern people, they think that if a game has gore in it then it’s immediately considered horror. But we have to keep in mind that many people have a different idea of what horror is. You know, you’ve got the new people who are into the Silent Hill series saying things like: “OMG! Silent Hill: Shattered Memories is the scariest game EVAH!”
The Fuboo: *Laughs* Then you’ve got me sitting there, slouched out in my chair. Everything’s dark. And I’m falling asleep.
LaughingMan: There’s a picture of Slenderman or that thing from Amnesia: The Dark Descent (The Grunt) saying: “TELL ME MORE.”
The Fuboo: *Laughs* Oh really?
The Fuboo: You know, it’s different. People have different things that scares them.
*A baby pops up from under the table*
The Fuboo: For example, I’m terrified of ghosts.
LaughingMan: I’m terrified of babies.
The Fuboo: See? There you go.
LaughingMan: Melissa, you need to add this little avatar of a baby crawling under your arm.
CineMax: Or bursting out of your chest…
LaughingMan: Make it like Space Balls! Hello, my baby. Hello, my honey…
The Fuboo: But no. It depends on who you are and what type of horror you enjoy. I mean, you have Resident Evil that basically invented the term ‘survival horror’. And now, with Resident Evil 6, they call it ‘dramatic horror’. And…
The Fuboo: Oh my gosh. That’s ridiculous.
B-Mask: So, wait. Dramatic horror. Does that mean everyone’s voiced by Simon Callow?
LaughingMan: ‘Dramatic Horror’ is when Hamlet picks up the skull and the skull bites him.
The Fuboo: Yeah, something like that.
CineMax: The Baby 3: They Live.
CineMax: And then there’s going to be The Baby 4: Resurrection (Alien: Resurrection Spoof).
CineMax: And then there’s going to be The Baby Vs. The Toddler, The Baby Vs. The Toddler 2, and then The Toddlers.
LaughingMan: Toddlers Go to Hell! Toddlers Take Manhattan!
CineMax: Toddlers Back in tha Hood!
horror, sex, dead space 3, resident evil 6, silent hill, luigi’s mansion, amnesia, slender, limbo, left 4 dead, silent hill 2, suda 51, and Michael bay
Horror Is Like Sex: The Decline of Survival Horror Video Games and Dead Space 3 and Resident Evil 6, Silent Hill: Downpour and CCS Video Podcast