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Title: Animal crossing: New leaf and the diversity of horror in video games
Authors: Brown, AML
Björn, M
Keywords: Horror games;Diversity of game horror;Uncanny;Agency;Interaction mapping;Animal Crossing: New Leaf
Issue Date: 2015
Publisher: DiGRA
Citation: Proceedings of the 8th Digital Games Research Association conference, DiGRA'15, Germany, (14 May 2015)
Abstract: This paper explores the diverse ways horror can be conveyed in games by investigating how games that are not associated with the horror genre can produce unsettling or scary experiences. To conduct this exploration, this study uses interaction mapping, as outlined by Consalvo and Dutton (2006), to examine a game that has thoroughly pleasant and cutesy trappings: Animal Crossing: New Leaf (Nintendo 2013). The interactions were analysed according to three themes prevalent within literature on horror and horror games: the loss of agency, the Freudian uncanny, and the Heideggerian uncanny. Ultimately, this paper demonstrates that a game which is not explicitly scary is occasionally made so through its rudimentary simulation of human behaviour and societal constructs as well as its autonomous functions and inclusion of real-world time, showing that games have very diverse means of conveying unsettling or horrifying experiences. The paper also shows how frameworks used to analyse games in the horror genre can be applicable to critical readings of non-horror games in order to understand the unexpected player reactions they can evoke.
ISSN: 2342-9666
Appears in Collections:Dept of Social Sciences Media and Communications Research Papers

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