DISCLAIMER: I know that horror games have still been made but it is this new form of horror that I am talking about. The afraid to round every corner, walk through the game with your eyes closed terror, not the style of horror you would classify as the Dead Rising or Metro series under. While these games have moments like that, it isn’t the core focus that they use to make the game what it is. Now onto what this is really about.

 

Horror games, the games we turn the lights on to play, have recently been getting a lot of attention in the gaming scene. With upcoming games like Alien: Isolation, or Bethesda’s The Evil Within coming out this is a huge year for the horror genre. And let’s not forget one the games that helped start the genre is also getting a slimy scaly tentacle in the door, Silent Hills the ninth game in the Silent Hill series released a playable trailer that made even the toughest of tough guys sleep with the lights on. While the first two games will be coming out this October, Silent Hills isn’t set to hit shelves until Fall 2016. Even though it is two years away the playable trailer gave many of us enough scares to last a life time. While we are both excited and scared sh!t less by these upcoming games, we shouldn’t forget the roots that allow these interactive nightmares to send us to our mommies in need of new pants.

Resident Evil and Silent Hill 2 are the first horror games to leave a major mark in the gaming world and open up this genre called survival horror. That first scene of a zombie eating a man in front of you still rest in the back of most experienced gamers mind. Probably one of the most disturbing images in gaming still rest on the shoulder of Silent Hill 2. You all know what I mean, that’s right, Pyramid Head. That’s right one of, if not the most iconic symbols for horror amongst gamers. These iconic games launched something that inspired a generation of content for the internet.

What content am I am talking about? Well none other than the Let’s Play. This form of entertainment started out on the Something Awful forums, but not in video format. It wasn’t until just recently that this became a form of viral video. Now I’m not saying that he started it but everyone knows and can’t deny that he is be one of the biggest influences on the Let’s Play format. You all know him unless you have been living underneath a Dwayne Johnson for the last four years. It is Pewdiepie, whether you love him or you hate him, he has had an incredible influence on the horror genre that you might not realize. His  Amnesia: The Dark Descent video kicked off a craze that spread like wildfire over the plains of the internet. Now before the pitch forks and torches come out, listen, I don’t love or hate the guy. I think he is a smart guy who put his “talents” to use to entertain people, and turned it into a career a rather successful one at that, but everyone, even game companies know the affect that he has had in gaming. Hell, a lot of places will send him their game early for advertising. Pewdiepie brought horror games back into the front line of audience attention, maybe not him alone, but he definitely helped.

Indie games and smaller developers realized this sudden boom of popularity and decided to hop on. Other major developers didn’t ignore this but the smaller group kind of pounced at it. Groups like Frictional Games the creators of Amnesia, a game that is one of the biggest influences on this resurrection of the horror genre, and Red Barrels who made Outlast a personal terror of mine.

 

Are you ready for the terrors that lurk behind your screen? What do you think about the shift in the horror genre? Do you like it or is it not your vial of sanity potion? Let us know what you think. GLHF out there.

 

 

Quentin SmithQuentin Smith is a college student studying Telecommunications at Ball State University. He loves gaming, movies, and television. Quote: “One day I hope I can sit around and play video games for a living but until then I will follow my other passion writing.”