This paper examines Gothic traditions across the survival horror videogame series Silent Hill. Considering Gothic dimensions of the videogame medium, then Gothic themes in survival horror videogames, the paper proceeds to explore Silent Hills narrative aesthetics and gameplay in relation to the Gothic. Considerations include: the intrusion of sinister alternative worlds, fragmented narrative forms, a sense of the past impinging upon the present, and the psychoanalytic dimensions of the series. Throughout this paper attention will be paid to ways in which Gothic themes resonate with or are transformed according to the dictates of the videogame medium.
Gothic as a genre has become more amorphous and difficult to contain. This book brings together for the first time many of the multifarious visual motifs and media associated with Gothic together with areas that have never received serious study or mention in this regard before. It draws attention to an array of dark artefacts such as Goth and Gothic jewellery, dolls, posters and food, which, though part of popular mass marketing, have often been marginalised and largely omitted from the mainstream of Gothic Studies publishing. The book moves from the earliest Gothic architecture to décor and visual aspects of theatrical design, masquerade and dance. It focuses on paintings in two historical spans from Jan Van Eyck to Henry Fuseli and from Goya to H. R. Giger to consider Clovis Trouille's works influenced by horror films and Vincent Castiglia's paintings in blood. Gothic engravings, motifs of spectral portraits, posters and signs are covered. The book then uses early visual devices like Eidophusikon and the long-lived entertainment of peepshows to introduce a discussion of projection technologies like magic lanterns and, subsequently, film and TV. Gothic photography from Daguerreotypes onwards; and Gothic font, scripts and calligraphy are then discussed. Finally, the book presents a survey of the development of newer Gothic media, such as video gaming, virtual reality (VR) games and survival horror apps.
the development of newer Gothic media,
such as video gaming, VR (virtual reality) games and survivalhorror
apps. A range of horror sideshows, rides, environments and artistic
installations is discussed with particular emphasis on the venerable
thrill-ride: ghost-trains. The book opens with considering architecture:
the largest free-standing and external visual artefacts and structures
-person survivalhorror genre, where the gamer can always see her or his avatar slightly to the left of the centre of the screen, and must operate this avatar to find clues, solve puzzles and either escape or engage various enemies in combat. The third-person perspective separates the gamer from the avatar more clearly than the first-person perspective where the avatar's eyes are also the gamer's eyes. In other words, it is always clear to the gamer that the figure on the screen is an avatar and not the gamer. At the same time, the third-person perspective can increase suspense
New York : Palgrave
Picard , Martin.
2009 . ‘ Haunting backgrounds: Transnationality and
intermediality in Japanese survivalhorror video games ’.
Horror Video Games: Essays on the Fusion of Fear and Play, ed. Bernard
Perron. Jefferson, NC : McFarland , 95–120 .
Poe , Edgar Allan.
of bats and werewolves are rather sketchily rendered. The isometric maps
by Dave Sutherland build up the sense of an interconnected 3-D fortress.
Vampires were also important in Konami’s Castlevania
The term ‘survivalhorror’ was first used in
relation to Shinji Makami and Tokuro Fujiwara’s Resident
Evil (1996) video horror game where players are abruptly set
: Cambridge University Press, 2002), pp. 277–300.
8 Valve, Portal (Kirkland, WA, 2007–11); Ewan Kirkland, ‘Gothic and SurvivalHorror Videogames’, in Glennis Byron and Dale Townshend (eds), The Gothic World (London: Routledge, 2014), pp. 454–64, at p. 455.
9 Fullbright, Gone Home (Portland, OR, 15 August 2013); Zoe Quinn, Depression Quest (14 February 2013), www.depressionquest.com/, accessed 28 February 2018.
10 Sharon Rose Yang and Kathleen Healey, ‘Introduction: Haunted Landscapes
. Archive of Digital Art. https://www.digitalartarchive.at/nc/home.html .
Habel, Chad and Ben Kooyman. ‘Agency Mechanics: Gameplay Design in SurvivalHorror Video Games.’ Digital Creativity 25.1 (2013): 1–14.
Hackman, Paul. ‘“I Am a Double Agent:”: Shelley Jackson’s Patchwork Girl and the Persistence of Print in the Age of Hypertext.’ Contemporary Literature 52.1 (2011): 84–107.
Haraway, Donna. Simians, Cyborgs, and Women: The Reinvention of Nature . New York: Routledge, 1991
terrifying sounds that fill the air or are heard behind closed doors.
Sometimes in the horror film genre, sounds may even have a practical
function for exposition: in fact, the enigmatic sound that lures a
victim into peril has become a cliché. Sound in the form of music
is indispensable in horror screen culture from films to digital games.
Subgenres of action-adventure games such as ‘survivalhorror’ make