That’s Low-Cal’s not Low-Cul’s although Low-Cul’s are pretty terrifying too but don’t tell them I said that. But that’s a list for another day! Today is all about places of fright. The locations in games that require multiple sets of boxers to get through. So let’s start at something we’re all familiar with.
Yes, scary then and scary now but for different reasons. Back then it was just the fear of a test or being the latest happy slapping victim. Honestly, happy slapping, what was that about?!
But as adults, why are we scared of schools in games? I believe it’s because we know what classrooms are like, bright and full of noise. In games they tend to be dark and silent. Or brightly lit but empty. We never see classrooms like that in real life. It’s unusual for it to be like that.
A large part of our childhood’s are sat in class and those memories are ingrained in our minds. And so in games when they aren’t portrayed like that, it’s unnerving. Also, because dead Japanese girls with long hair seem to live there.
Similar to schools, we see fairs and circus’ as lively and colourful places. They are lit up like beacons to the gods and full of a cacophony of sounds. In horror games those elements tend to be subdued to the point of almost non-existence.
The colours will be gone from the tents and rides. The swarms of people will be silent or a faint whisper. And the heaving circus will be a desolation to only you. That is why I believe it is effective in horror games. A place that is usually full of life is just plain eerie when viewed the opposite way. And then there are the clowns.
Clowns are abominations. If you’re a clown reading this, I am terribly sorry to insult your profession but you scare the hell out of me and everyone else. A clown’s persona is fake. Nobody is ever that happy. Humans, we are perceptible to lies. We have to be, it’s survival of the fittest and the unfit will use tactics to get the upper hand. Lying is a handy tool there.
Clowns are scary because we can detect that something isn’t right. Something in the back of our brain says that the thing before us, isn’t what it’s pretending to be. That feeling intensifies if you make eye contact with a clown. When you see it with people around it’s off putting but whatever you’re at the fairground, you have the crowd cover. If the clown looks at you though, your mind starts freaking out. It knows that this fake thing knows you are there. And if you’re ever alone with a clown, well…..let’s hope that never happens. *Honk honk*
I’m a bad swimmer. I’ll be the first to tell you that. The water makes me feel helpless. Not showers though, showers are fine, I love showers! I put my hands a certain way and water shoots from my finger tips like I’m bloody Waterman, aquatic hero number 1.
But the ocean? That large expanse where my speed and strength are dulled and the things in the ocean are faster and stronger than I am on land. No thank you! As humans, we are constantly looking forward. To the future and literally. How often do you look above? Not a lot right, why would you, it’s not like a lot of things can attack you from above. But in the ocean though, there are so many fast things that love to shoot up from the dark depths and nibble at your toes. Your feetsies are never safe. Just remember that the next time you go for a leisurely swim.
Couple that with the fact that in video games the controls tend to be inferior to the main gameplay. That definitely doesn’t help. You know what else doesn’t help? Goddamn playing an increasingly stressful and quickening piece of music that makes me forget how to play as a blue hedgehog. You struggle to wake up in the mornings? Put that Sonic is about to drown music as your alarm and you’ll have a heart attack every morning.
In space, nobody can hear you scream. I think it was Abraham Lincoln who said that. A very wise man. Space is like being underwater but cranked up to 11. In the ocean at least you can be naked. In space you need tons of heavy equipment and technology. Too much hassle.
But space is very similar to the ocean. It’s a vast emptiness with very little room for error. Not only that but we don’t know what space hides. The deep abyss that is our ocean we have a rough idea of what dwells there. Freaky light show jellyfish and ugly fish with razor sharp teeth and hundreds more of natures rejects. Space though, different story.
In fact, many stories, the stories that we humans have created. And let’s be honest, most of them aren’t nice. Space is an unknown and we don’t like the unknown. Our imaginations thrive in the unknown and so over the decades, in media we’ve concocted many beings of pure terror. The stuff our nightmares have nightmares of. And where do we say they live? In space. Why not?! We have no idea if a Xenomorph is a real thing. The universe is forever growing and so if we say there is an alien that bleeds acid and lays its brood inside our flesh, the sheer odds are that that does exist somewhere. Let’s just hope in our lifetimes we never find out if that is true or not.
Dreams/hallucination’s. Is there a thing as a bad dream or does a bad dream just automatically become a nightmare? I’ve had dull dreams before and then I wake up so I suppose that’s a nightmare. Living a dull experience subconsciously and then waking up for work. Yeah that’s pretty scary.
In dreams (one of my favourite songs by the way, funnily enough it featured in Alan Wake, a horror series. See it all ties back together), we are ourselves but not ourselves. We are in places we know but they’re different. Everything is off in dreams and even hallucinations. Sometimes we realise that, other times we know there is an anomaly but we don’t know what it is. Other times we believe the world we are presented with is the correct one. That unknown state of being is terrifying to me.
In dreams, sometimes, you having marbles for eyeballs and tongues for fingers seems perfectly acceptable until you wake up. And when you wake up, are you sure you’re awake? You thought in the dream that tongue fingers were the norm so what’s to say that what seems normal to you now isn’t really normal? Are you reading this article now? There’s only one way to be sure, leave a comment and check back tomorrow.
No I’m kidding, you’re fully awake and you just read my innate ramblings about dreams. Scary thought though isn’t it! I’ve just noticed actually that dreams aren’t used as often anymore as hallucinations are. Batman and Spiderman come to mind of the titular characters seeing things when awake. It’s basically dreaming though, it’s all in the mind. Anyway, just a random thought. I hope you enjoyed the read and feel free to drop a comment and let me know what places in games give you the heebie jeebies. Thanks for reading.