Halloween will soon arrive. And when was the last time you had the Hell scared out of you during this particular pagan celebration? If you're like most people, probably never. My biggest scare was rumors of razor blades and safety pins in apples. Who gave a crap about apples anyway? I just gave them to my brother. God rest his soul, how that boy liked his apples.
Halloween is kitschy and cornball. It's a safe, make-believe fear that we revel in. There's no actual shock or dread; the two most important components of fear. But a video game can stimulate fear with no danger other than the risk of a heart attack. The fear you experience virtually is physiologically indistinguishable from real life. This is a scientific fact. Take advantage of it.
So may I suggest playing a terrifying game this Halloween, and give this lame-o event some lasting impact?
In order to make the most out of your gaming experience, you should arrange to play night, with the lights off, using headphones, with no one else in the house. Also, make sure the doors are open, adding to the potential of terror, since someone may walk in on you. If you live in a bad neighborhood, so much the better.
If you don't live alone, a grandmother with dementia who aimlessly wanders the halls will suffice nicely.
Finding the right game may be a challenge. We don't always fear the same things. There are also those that claim they don't frighten, but those claims are always braggadocio. If there's one thing that scares me, it's people that don't scare.
Trust me, and I don't mind saying this, playing games in this manner can be a real terrifying experience. Every so often I would rip the headphones off, pause the game, and look around the house. Then I would lock the door and continue.
Fatal Frame 2 and 4, Silent Hill 2 and 3, Resident Evil, Amnesia: The Dark Descent, and Call of Cthulhu are generally regarded as some of the best in the genre. I know a lot of you will have different preferences and condemn me to death for my apparent lack of taste.
And since we're on the topic of taste, some people lack imagination. They need everything spelled out for them. That's why there are two camps on The Blair Witch Project. Some got it, others didn't. Personally, it was more terrifying to imagine what the entity might be, rather than have someone's rubber mask or CGI impression forever ruin it. Hitchcock knew how to use your mind against you. He used effects sparingly. The overuse of a monster diminishes its horror impact. Case in point, the more I watch the Honey Boo Boo show, the more I want to make love to the mother.
As far as Halloween costumes are concerned, Superheroes and sexy witches are not scary. Put the horror back in Halloween this year. Go as yourself.
Date: September 28, 2012
*The views expressed within this article are solely the opinion of the author and do not express the views held by Cheat Code Central.*