adrenaline, Dan Howell, Five Nights at Freddy's, Halloween, horror, inspiration, Markiplier, Outlast, Outlast Whistleblower, supernatural, the weird genre, video games, walkthroughs, Why are things creepy?, writing, YouTube
As of late, I’ve been more or less obsessed with watching walkthroughs of horror video games. It might be snowing outside and they’re playing holiday commercials on the TV, but I’m not ready for Christmas. Halloween is my favorite holiday. It’s kinder to my wallet, you get to dress up and freak people out, there’s plenty of candy to go around and the atmosphere is a perfect stimulant to me as a writer.
I’ve always liked dark and strange stuff, but it wasn’t until I started this English seminar called “Dark Enchantment: Genre, Fantasy and the New Weird” that I really got into horror and supernatural stories. We’ve discussed cosmic fear (the vast universe and the unknown), the high place phenomenon (a.k.a. perverseness, the will to self-destruct or do something bad because you know you can), the uncanny valley (a place between two mountains, safety and danger, where uncertainty and ambiguity cause one to wonder whether there’s an actual threat) and many other sides of the genre weird, fantasy, thrillers and horror, et cetera.
Why do we scare ourselves? Why do we LIKE it? The answer is simple: adrenaline and curiosity. When you are frightened, you experience a bombshell of adrenaline and it releases endorphins in your mind. As bad as it sounds, we expose ourselves to these horrors, because it feels good. Some of us cannot handle it, because it might give us nightmares or set the foundation for a legitimate fear that will stay with us or that one fright is too overbearing. It’s fine if you don’t dare venture in the unknown, but for people like me, our curiosity has too much power over us and it will push us out of our comfort zone. I’m also morbidly fascinated with the concept of fear and the human mind, which is often visible in my work, so that’s why I’m thrill-seeking more and more. I write a lot of stories where the protagonist is mentally ill or stories containing forces whose mysteries the main character has to untangle.
One of these days, I will really get into some of the interesting things I’ve learned in that class, but for now let me show you what I’ve watched.
Dan Howell playing the beginning of Outlast; after receiving a mysterious email, reporter Miles Upshur enters Mount Massive Asylum where strange things have been happening – like very illegal experiments – and Dan’s commentary is amusing. That game actually gave me some brilliant ideas for the sequel to the novel I’m currently working on. It’s going to be fun. I already feel bad for what I’m going to put my protagonist through (who’s also a reporter, ha ha ha).
Markiplier is a YouTube person who plays video and computer games for a living (for a living? does he make money doing this? oh well…) and he has that movie announcer voice I appreciate. Good gamer and even better commentary. I’ve watched him play Outlast, Five Nights at Freddy’s and I just started watching the sequel to Outlast: Whistleblower (which is even creepier).
I watched most of Outlast with my friends and even though the game is totally sick, terrifying and disturbing, it was fun sharing all the jumps and screams with them. I probably shouldn’t continue the sequel tonight, all alone at night, but I’m keeping all the lights on and the door is locked so I think I’ll be fine. My favorite part of Outlast was the “Crazy Doctor” episode so I’m going to share that with you lovely people. It included Doctor Trager who is a really good villain, calm and collected for most of the time – until he takes out the giant scissors – and he speaks like a damn sophisticated gentleman.
What’s most entertaining about Five Nights at Freddy’s is the recorded phone calls from the previous security guard. Well, you’re playing as a security guard who works the night shift at Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza (of course) and the animated animals “get quirky” and start moving around. Why they haven’t nuked that restaurant, I don’t know. Part of the message in the first shift goes like this:
First an introductory reading from the company I’m supposed to read. It’s kinda a legal thing, you know. ‘Welcome to Freddy Fazgbear’s Pizza, a magical place for kids and grownups alike, where fantasy and fun come to life. The company is not responsible for damages to property or person. Upon discovering the damage or death to a person, a missing person report will be filed within 90 days or as soon as the property has been thoroughly cleaned and bleached.’ Bla bla bla… Now I know that sounds bad, but there is really nothing to worry about.
Just to give you a taste of the creepiness and some of Markiplier’s best commentary:
That’s me for now. Sorry (not sorry) for ruining your sleep pattern.