terça-feira, 18 de novembro de 2014

Anxiety as a component of game design

Alien Isolation is a big hit this semester. Specialized magazines and websites heavily criticized the game but, regardless of the criticism, I enjoyed the game. I think it’s the first good game of the Alien franchise.

The game tells the story of Amanda Ripley investigating the possible reasons for the disappearance of her mother: the main character from the first Alien movie, Ellen Ripley. Check the trailer below for the plot:

It’s a first person adventure with very interesting cut scenes that create an atmosphere of tension and fear. There’s one true fact about the game: things take longer to happen in the narrative, but that's part of the fear experience.

Maral Tajerian, in an article for the site Gamasutra* entitled Fight or Flight: The Neuroscience of Survival Horror, says that anxiety is a point to highlight in terror/horror games. This author also says that “next to fear, anxiety is perhaps the most prominent feeling experienced in video games. Unlike fear, which is a response to an imminent threat, anxiety is a response to a future potential threat”.

Anxiety is an important game design component in this example. The whole game is based in it, and all fear/horror/terror reactions are derived from it. Alien Isolation is a game to enjoy slowly, a game to be played in the mood of the first movie. An immersive and memorable experience.

*Source: Gamasutra (click here to read the article)

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