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:
- Physical Design
- Placement during game
- What happens before, during and after approaching
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: https://www.kotaku.com.au/2017/12/the-horror-of-video-game-doors/
Hjern, J., 2015. The Horror Of Doors. UPPSALA UNIVERSITET. Available at: https://www.diva-portal.org/smash/get/diva2:868198/FULLTEXT01.pdf