Gamasutra: The Art & Business of Making Gamesspacer
View All     RSS
April 16, 2014
arrowPress Releases
April 16, 2014
PR Newswire
View All





If you enjoy reading this site, you might also want to check out these UBM TechWeb sites:


One way horror games work on you
One way horror games work on you Exclusive
June 12, 2012 | By Staff

June 12, 2012 | By Staff
Comments
    1 comments
More: Console/PC, Indie, Design, Exclusive



In a new feature, neuroscientist Maral Tajerian explores the precise ways in which horror games affect your brain -- pointing out which animal instincts and mechanisms they work on.

One aspect of the brain that games can trigger is mirror neurons --
"neurons in certain regions of the brain that are active when an animal performs an action, or observes another individual performing that same action," Tajerian writes.

In other words, when you observe something happening on screen that you can relate to -- to an extent, you experience it yourself.

Tajerian offers an example from the Silent Hill franchise:

"In the Silent Hill series, similar mechanisms would elicit anxiety and disgust when players are given the choice to stick their hand into a hole in a wall or to take something out of a toilet."

According to Tajerian, some horror developers are taking active advantage of this mechanism now. Frictional Games' Thomas Grip (Amnesia: The Dark Descent) last year said "the involvement of mirror neurons is important when the empathy factor is high. In other words, you can't help but put yourself in the protagonist's shoes," writes Tajerian.

The full feature, which examines other ways games like Dead Space and the above-mentioned titles affect you, is live now on Gamasutra.


Related Jobs

Linden Lab
Linden Lab — San Francisco, California, United States
[04.16.14]

Lead Engineer
Gameloft
Gameloft — New Orleans, Louisiana, United States
[04.16.14]

R&D Game Designer
SOAR Inc.
SOAR Inc. — Mountain View, California, United States
[04.16.14]

Game Designer/Narrative Writer
Giant Sparrow
Giant Sparrow — Santa Monica, California, United States
[04.15.14]

Game Designer










Comments


Matt Marquez
profile image
Interesting idea, but what made Silent Hill memorable for me was the plight of the characters; not so much the toilet grabbing.


none
 
Comment: