Feel the rush of horror-themed games

Charlize Ramirez

Lots of people like watching horror movies, whether it’s for the adrenaline rush of being scared or for the shared experience of watching with others. Now imagine being the protagonist in a horror setting and selecting your own path to survival, knowing your choices determine your fate. You can play that part when you play a horror video game

Video games have been around for almost 75 years but they were really basic at the beginning.  That’s not the case anymore. Over recent years, video games have become a different beast: the graphics are more sophisticated, the music is compelling and the themes are complex. No longer is a bouncing ball going to entertain a teenager, now, they can play along with others from all over the world and be emotionally and physically engaged with the gameplay.

The first horror video game came included with first home-gaming console in 1972: the Magnavox Odyssey. The two-player chase game was called Haunted House and there weren’t any sophisticated graphics, music or themes.

Since then, horror games have risen in popularity among kids, teenagers and adults. This is evident, even among Nazareth gamers. Of the 72 students surveyed about their video gaming habits, 74% said that they have played horror video games.  

Besides the love of the horror aspect of these video games, there are television shows and movies that were based on horror video games that also spiked interest and popularity.

Sophomore Carolina Gonzalez said the video game series The Last of Us has gained popularity because the show was recently released on HBO Max and because of that it’s getting hyped up. Moreover, shows like The Walking Dead and movies like Resident Evil have drawn attention to their namesake games, even if the storylines are different.

Freshman JJ Gonzalez said that the Resident Evil series has recently become more popular because a remake of the 2005 Resident Evil 4 was released on March 23rd, 2023. Gonzalez’s theory about why horror games are popular with teens is not that complicated. He said, “It’s a stress reliever and you can just chill and talk with friends and play video games together.” 

Lots of people love to play horror video games including David (who preferred not to share his last name), a representative from Galloping Ghost Pinball in Brookfield. He said the reason people like to play is simple: “It’s just an escape from everything, just to get their mind off things, and destress.”

Senior Danny Stratis, a horror game player, brought up his personal experience with senioritis and said, “I’m older now, so playing games is a way to get my mind off of everything.”

Science teacher Matt Foster is a video game connoisseur. Foster believes horror games are popular with teens because of the shock value and how you can almost never anticipate what will happen next. “One of the reasons why I liked the Resident Evil games,” said Foster, “is because they have both the story line that I like from role playing games, and fun moments of shock that are just burned in my brain.”

Whether you play video games or not, the horror game genre might be something to try. They’ve been around for more than 50 years, which says something about their staying power. These and other games can bring relief from stress, escape from reality, a way to have fun and play with a group of friends and even a safe way to get that adrenaline rush from getting scared!