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View Full Version : Scary Game Findings: A Study Of Horror Games And Their Players


Raul3
09-07-11, 04:02 PM
Interesting (long) read.

http://www.gamasutra.com/view/feature/6480/scary_game_findings_a_study_of_.php


This study was undertaken by usability and user experience studio Vertical Slice as an internal investigation. As this piece was not for commercial use, and used games that have already been released, it seeks to determine which Xbox 360 game is the "scariest," and is not intended to be a criticism or full analysis of the games in question.

...

Using some of Vertical Slice's unique approaches to user research, the study used a number of methods including interview techniques, think-aloud, researcher/participant post-play analysis and biometric feedback in order to evaluate the player experiences with each game. A group of six players, selected from a comprehensive database of over 500 individuals, was asked to play four different games -- each for 30 minutes, or an otherwise similarly appropriate length of time, depending on the game's content.

...

The biometrics chosen for this study were heart rate, skin surface temperature, and GSR (Galvanic Skin Response). Respiration biometrics were also used for some of the participants. GSR is ideal for measuring arousal (excitement or frustration), skin temp is an indicator of valance (happiness or sadness) and fluctuations in the other two can highlight key moments of engagement. GSR is the top blue line in the graphs, and skin temperature is the middle green one.

...



If you don't want to read the whole article:


Scariest Game Rankings: "The scariest game on the Xbox 360"

Based on our observations and analysis, as well as direct questioning of the players themselves, the following order was determined:


CORE
Dead Space 2
Condemned
Alan Wake
Resident Evil 5

CASUAL
Dead Space 2
Alan Wake
Resident Evil 5
Condemned

Michael Corvin
09-07-11, 04:39 PM
Condemned :up: :up:

I'll preach about that game to whomever will listen. Big screen + 5.1 = an experience like no other.

MoviePage
09-07-11, 05:10 PM
So it looks like those 4 games were the only ones actually used in the study? I've played and enjoyed all of those, but I found Dead Space to be much scarier than Dead Space 2. Silent Hill: Homecoming would also be near the top of my list (for scariness, maybe not for overall quality).

Raul3
09-07-11, 05:51 PM
So it looks like those 4 games were the only ones actually used in the study? I've played and enjoyed all of those, but I found Dead Space to be much scarier than Dead Space 2. Silent Hill: Homecoming would also be near the top of my list (for scariness, maybe not for overall quality).

Yeah, for the study they only used those four.


Games Selected

Using social media tools, polls and small-scale informal investigation, a short list of the scariest Xbox 360 games was created. This list was whittled down to four candidates, which were then used for the final study. The selected games were Alan Wake, Resident Evil 5, Dead Space 2 and Condemned. Other games, such as Left 4 Dead 2, Gears of War 2, Condemned 2, FEAR 1 & 2, Dead Space 1, Silent Hill: Homecoming, Alone in the Dark and Mass Effect 2 were considered, but ultimately disregarded, for use in this research.

mattysemo247
09-07-11, 10:12 PM
Mass Effect 2? GOW2? I didn't think either of those games were scary. But I did actually find the first FEAR game kind of creepy in some areas.

Boba Fett
09-07-11, 11:56 PM
I'd like to see how any of the FATAL FRAME games stack up against the modern stuff.

MasterofDVD
09-08-11, 03:06 AM
Condemned was probably one of the most unique gaming experiences I've ever had. My neighbors stopped over to watch me play it for a moment before the went to the bar for the night. They ended up staying for hours and watching me beat the game.

It cracked them up at how fast I made the choice at the end of the game to kill the villain. I didn't even hesitate to shoot the bastard. I had been tormented for hours and wanted my payback.

I'm still upset that I couldn't enjoy the second one as much.

mewmartigan
09-08-11, 10:00 AM
Interesting article but I would like to know the motivation behind the game choices. Silent Hill should definitely have been on there instead of RE5. One of the biggest complaints about RE5 was that it was more survival action than survival horror.
I wouldn't be surprised if Silent Hill had come out on top if they used it. Dead Space 2 was scary but Silent Hill has the town next door/familiar setting versus the space station setting.

I guess Mass Effect 2 was easy to eliminate from a horror study, haha.

DthRdrX
09-08-11, 11:01 AM
While I like the Dead Space games this list just makes me realize how much I miss last gen's horror games.

RE5 shouldn't have even been considered.

Larry C.
09-08-11, 11:10 AM
Condemned :up: :up:

I'll preach about that game to whomever will listen. Big screen + 5.1 = an experience like no other.

Without a doubt one of the best experiences in gaming. I remember the first time I heard a can drop to my left and out of the corner of my eye I see a shadow of a dude running across the far side of my screen in the distance. Made my skin crawl.

united
10-19-11, 10:34 AM
Wow, that is a scary finding. Maybe it's a good thing that the hardcore gamers are less susceptible to scary games??

Kedrix
10-19-11, 11:25 AM
Condemned :up: :up:

I'll preach about that game to whomever will listen. Big screen + 5.1 = an experience like no other.

Funny that you mention Condemned. On our site (not trying to promote on purpose, but its so appropriate, I bring it up), I wrote 5 pages of fan fiction (that's what I'm currently calling it) on Condemned for our yearly 31 Nights of Terror just this past sunday. It's pretty decent (people besides me have liked it :)), but after I wrote the 5 pages...I had some wicked nightmares that night.

When I watch scary movies, I usually don't though..but I guess since I was writing about a scary game (and really picking it apart), it got to me. I'm a little concerned because I've had a few people want part 2 (which is scheduled for this sunday) and possibly more. I really don't want nightmares again. Maybe I'll become numb to it though.

The Bus
10-19-11, 07:52 PM
Condemned was probably one of the most unique gaming experiences I've ever had.

...

I'm still upset that I couldn't enjoy the second one as much.

Agree on both counts. I got through about 7 minutes of C2 before I put it down.

Michael Corvin
10-20-11, 12:47 AM
:lol: Poor Condemned 2. Bought it on release for $60 and also barely made it 7 minutes in before I put it down.