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E for Effort: I Get Scared

Before I start let me introduce myself, I am currently in my final year of university studying music, and I have written my dissertation on how music in survival horror video games is able to arouse a sense of fear in its players. In doing this project, it has been interesting to look into how certain games use music to manipulate the emotions of their players. So Iíve decided to share some of my thoughts with you lovely people.

I donít know whether itís the fact that Iím a music student, and so pay particular attention to soundtracks, or the stereotype of being a female gamer that enables me to become so consumed to the point that I can feel my heart pounding in my chest as Iím playing a particularly frightening game. Now I donít want to begin my first blog entry with pissing off the female gaming community by suggesting that women are wimps, I am simply musing as to whether women have gained this stereotype because men are too stubborn to admit that they too have come close to crapping their pants when something has suddenly jumped out at them, and women generally have no shame in admitting to being scared.

So what is it that makes us feel scared when playing games? Is it just the combination of visuals and audio? or is there a deeper psychological connection that we have with the game in terms of player confidence? Are you more likely to feel scared of shooting a horde of zombies if you don't think that you have the capability of successfully doing it without being eaten? I think that for me it is a combination of both - especially when games contain innovative uses of audio, but also in terms of player accuracy because I particularly hate dying, so I subconsciously load on the pressure, arousing a greater sense of tension and anxiety within me as I play particular sequences.

Whatever the reason I know that I love the feelings of fear and adrenaline that these games generate, and I look forward to the creation of more games that will leave my palms sweaty and me having to sleep with the lights on!
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About Becca Robertsone of us since 7:35 AM on 04.24.2010

Audio geek who has a passion for picking apart games audio. I have 2 music degrees and I also do radio thingies. I did lots of gaming related shows for my student radio station. It was fun.

I am an Xbox 360/ steam for mac gamer.

I like scary games and RPGs

Old Games which I still have a soft spot for:

Abe's Oddworld
Final Fantasy VII
Kingdom Hearts
Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines
Xbox LIVE:InfernO189


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