Game database:   #ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ         ALL     Xbox One     PS4     360     PS3     WiiU     Wii     PC     3DS     DS     PS Vita     PSP     iOS     Android


Asylum Jam is horror games without 'scary crazy people'


9:00 PM on 09.29.2013
HorrorAsylum Jam is horror games without 'scary crazy people' photo



Fear-mongering is a great way to get people's attention, and inevitably, their money. On TV, that fear mongering often involves talking about things that TV-producers hope that people who still watch TV don't know much about, as nothing is scarier than the unknown. That's why you'll see so many TV news anchors and pundits link the rash of mass shootings in the US to mental illness and videogames. There is an entire generation of people that feel like they know nothing about videogames, and even more people who's only education about mental illness came from Sybil, Batman, and Psycho. There are a lot of Americans who crap their pants with fear when they hear headlines like "A mentally ill man is playing videogames in your neighborhood RIGHT NOW, and YOU COULD BE NEXT!" 

Not coincidentally, the idea of using people's lack of knowledge about mental illness and mental health treatment also works to help make a scary videogame. The "monster mental patient", "evil psychiatrist", and "being crazy is like being in hell!" tropes have been used in more games than I can count, sometimes in very effective ways. That wouldn't be a problem if it weren't for the fact that these are often the only representations of mental illness or psychiatric treatment that we see in gaming at all. 

The Asylum Jam is looking to change that, challenging developers to make games that do "not use asylums, psychiatric institutes, medical professionals or violent/antipathic/’insane’ patients as settings or triggers", working to show "that you can still create a great horror experience without using inaccurate stereotypes of those who suffer from mental illness, or the institutions that support them in diagnosis and recovery."

I wonder if a game like Neverending Nightmares, which uses metaphors to express how terrible OCD and Depression can be would qualify, as it works to help the player relate to someone suffering from psychiatric symptoms, as opposed to depicting them as someone who wants to murder you for no reason?






Comments not appearing? Anti-virus apps like Avast or some browser extensions can cause this.
Easy fix: Add   [*].disqus.com   to your software's white list. Tada! Happy comments time again.

Did you know? You can now get daily or weekly email notifications when humans reply to your comments.







Survival Horror

9:30 AM on 03.25.2015
Slender: The Arrival is out on PS4 and Xbox One today

Do people still think Slenderman is scary? I don't really know; it seems like the well-dressed humanoid has faded from the collective consciousness lately. Maybe it's just that I don't visit meme websites any more. Slender: ...more



12:00 PM on 03.19.2015
State of Decay: Year One Survival Edition debut trailer, releases April 28

State of Decay was one of those pleasant surprises back in 2013. Sure, the sandbox/RPG-lite horror game was a little rough, but it was an intense experience full of free flow situations, base building, and likable survivors....more



2:02 AM on 03.17.2015
Resident Evil Revelations 2's extra episodes are fun, but non-essential

As you might be aware, Capcom is taking a really weird approach to Resident Evil: Revelations 2. In addition to bringing in an episodic format, they've also hitched two secretive "extra episodes" to the package, exclusive to ...more



View all Survival Horror






Back to Top




All content is yours to recycle through our Creative Commons License permitting non-commercial sharing requiring attribution. Our communities are obsessed with videoGames, movies, anime, and toys.

Living the dream since March 16, 2006

Advertising on destructoid is available: Please contact them to learn more