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Horror Games in VR

Kirjoittanut: Deniz Çalışkan - tiimistä SYNTRE.

Esseen tyyppi: Yksilöessee / 2 esseepistettä.
Esseen arvioitu lukuaika on 3 minuuttia.

There is something horrifying, yet exciting and fascinating about being scared, when the adrenaline goes through your body it might feel scary at first, however, for many this feeling quickly turns into adrenaline in a positive way that the person wants to experience the same event over and over again. At this point, the exciting part is not about being scared, but what being scared makes you feel like afterwards. It is known that the horror movie industry is millions of dollars industry where they produce hundreds of both professional and indie music each year. An article called Why People Love to Be Scared in Insiders state that: “People love going to the movies to be scared. The $733 million made in horror movie ticket sales in 2017 proves it.” (Lentz 2018)


It does not also end only with movies, soon people realised that people also want to interact with the horror movies, which also led people to start making horror movies on PC or gaming consoles where people can both combine games and the adrenaline of being scared. Horror games allows the players to feel scared in a safe environment, because the player is aware of the fact that the scary events are happening only within the game, and the feelings that are caused in their body is only a reaction to the event that is happening on the screen that they are playing. They are not physically affected directly by the events and the zombie they are trying to escape from can not touch them physically.


The article Why People Love to Be Scred in Insiders explain this situation as: “If your body senses you are not threatened, you will still experience fear, but instead of releasing hormones that make you stronger and faster for defense mode, your body releases hormones that essentially make you feel good under the right circumstances, sociologist Margee Kerr PhD told Healthline.” (Lentz 2018). However, what if this could be an immersive experience? What if your brain actually thought that the zombie can touch you?


The current trend in the gaming industry in horror category is in virtual reality and many virtual reality developers in the gaming industry are focusing on horror themed movies. One of the most interesting topics in virtual reality is to interact with games and soon the game developers included horror games in virtual reality to catch up with the market demand.


What makes the horror game experience in virtual reality really scary than a regular scary movie or a game in a 2D experience is that the virtual reality is in an immersive environment, and every action that is being presented in virtual reality is being understood by our brain as real. So when an unexpected object appears right in front of you, the brain codes is as in if an unexpected object appears right in front of your face in real life. It can be tricky for the brain to understand that the object that is being presented unexpectedly actually does not exist, and the recovery time from your reaction to his unexpected event can take much longer than as it would take in a 2D screen, which means that the affect of the adrenaline lasts longer than in a 2D screen horror movie or game. This is the reason why horror games are a very popular market in virtual reality industry, because the lovers of adrenaline or horror games can experience this type of adrenaline for a longer time and trick their brains into thinking that the experience feels “real”.


The next step for horror experience in VR could not be limited only by the limitations of games where the storyline follows a script, but through on time interactive persons in forms of scary avatars influencing each other in real time. We are all familiar with the concept of scary houses, most popularly in the Halloween season, however what if we could use it as a further business model and create scary house experiences in virtual reality where you can reduce the cost of rent, decoration and clothing?


The idea can be generated around 7-8 people where 3 of them are the participants and 4-5 of them are the actors that are given avatars of scary personas that are designed accordingly to the theme of the scary house. These people can interact with each other without actually touching each other, but still having the sense of being touched or having the person around you even though they are not physically in the same place.


Since immersive environment in virtual reality allows the users to experience sound 360, the same type of adrenaline can be given to the participants by using the 360 sound technology in VR. Through this way, the participant can not differentiate at first look whether the sound is actually there or is it in virtual reality.


As this would be an even more intense VR experience, it could still have a potential market for it which can be taken into consideration with the VR developers and make a research on whether if there could be an actual market for it.






Lentz, C. 2018. Why Peole Love to Be Scared. Read on 10.10.2022. Link: https://www.insider.com/why-people-love-to-be-scared-2018-4

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