Doors, Corners and Stairs

The moments in horror games where you just stop and think “NOPE” are the essential moments in a users experience which makes the game scary and wanting more. But why are those moments at the doors, corners and stairs? A post by Kirk Hamilton addresses the “nope” moments in a game when they approach a door. Lurking behind the door is the unsettling unknown even though the door is just a door…It represents “both barrier and a portal”.

Talking about doors, I have found an academic journal published in 2015 where they investigate further into “The Horror of doors“. More specifically, the impact of the design of a door on a users experience. That is, the colour, texture, size and shape. In their study, they created six doors for players to choose, two in each room. It was concluded that door five was more likely to be avoided compared to door two due to its design (see image below). Similar to this study, I plan on analysing the doors, corners and stairs in three groups:

  1. Physical Design
  2. Placement during game
  3. What happens before, during and after approaching
Example from “The Horror of Doors

Personally, these “nope” moments occur not only when approaching a door, but corners and most importantly, stairs. Why is this? Well, this is why I am playing horror games for my digital artefact. I want to know why I get so terrified every time I walk around a house in a game, every time I am directed to go through a mysterious door and why i will REFUSE to go up a flight of stairs.


Hamilton, K., 2015. The Horror Of Video Game Doors. Kotaku Australia. Available at:

Hjern, J., 2015. The Horror Of Doors. UPPSALA UNIVERSITET. Available at:

7 thoughts on “Doors, Corners and Stairs

Add yours

  1. Hey Casey!

    I absolutely love your Digital Artefact Idea! I, myself love horror movies but I don’t think I could bring myself to actually play a horror game, I would be too scared! I can totally agree with you when you state that you are not someone who plays games, and honestly I have only played Minecraft too!

    The fact that you are bringing something that you are interested in and that you love into your digital artefact is so clever! I wish I created an idea similar to yours, however, I am hoping I step a little out of my comfort zone!

    I love how you are going to analyse the doors, corners and stairs because too be honest WHY ARE THEY CONSIDERED SO SCARY??? I am so excited to see what you uncover within your digital artefact!

    You should check out this video of this guy playing a horror game for the first time!!! I literally scared myself while watching it!!!

    Goodluck girl!


  2. Hey Casey, thank you for doing this DA! I love horror movies, i am definitely that person who recommends horror movies to everyone so I’ll be very interested to see where your DA goes 🙂 I’ve found it very difficult to relate to video games too so I really like the avenue you have picked!!

    When working on a game media analysis we learn’t that it’s very important to map the basic features of the text and paratext. So as well as you playing the game yourself, I would also look into how the game is received by other audience members. This could include looking at websites such as reviews, mods, cosplay or wiki

    Below is a link that I found for a review on your game. Hope that helps!! Look forward to seeing what you can produce


  3. Hey Casey, this is honestly such a cool DA idea! As a horror movie fan, I can definitely see why you are taking the viewpoint of looking at doors, corners and stairs, such an interesting and exciting concept for this digital artefact! It’s so cool to see how you are doing a DA where you are going to let your audience come along with you on your journey and to let people see your pure reaction to the games you choose to play.

    To see that you are focusing on the 3 points of Physical Design, Placement during a game and What happens before, during and after approaching is so fascinating! These 3 points seem like they would cover so much ground on this topic which you have chosen!

    I was wondering if for this DA if you had thought of writing up a summary on how you think the game is going to be before you actually play it. So for example, it could be like: what you expect the game to be like, if you think the game will scare you and just the basic things on what you imagine it’s going to be like. Then when you’ve finished, reflect and see if your perceptions were right. It would be really cool to see how you imagine it’s going to be and how it actually is.

    Here is a really cool video which conveys ten creepy video games for horror fans, ( ) I found this video interesting because it portrayed what horror games are actually like and what type of games are out there!

    Im really looking forward to keeping up with your digital artefact, great job!


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