Welcome to the NYU Game Center’s Horror Week 2011!

Curator: Owen McLean

This week, in anticipation of Halloween, we’ll be profiling games from the survival-horror genre. Each day we’ll feature a different influential horror game leading up to Friday’s full-on celebration of creepy games from every era and platform.

Horror games are mostly rooted in action-adventure, but while straightforward action games focus on making the player feel powerful, survival-horror games thrive on limiting the player’s resources while surrounding them with horrifying environments in order to make them more vulnerable and intensify feelings of anxiety, terror, and suspense. This also means that players are alone most of the time – horror games are, up until recent titles like Left 4 Dead and Resident Evil 5, mostly solo experiences, with many having very few to no non-player characters. Story elements range from zombies and B-movie themes (Resident Evil, Left 4 Dead) to all-out psychological horror (Silent Hill, Eternal Darkness) with a strong emphasis on atmosphere and detailed, tangible worlds in which the player can feel fully immersed.

Horror games are incredibly exciting and important because they demonstrate the expressive power that videogames can have, reaching beyond pure entertainment value and hitting players on a visceral as well as psychological level. We’ve gathered up some of the best from our library for you to get lost in. Enjoy, and happy Halloween!

Featured Games:

MondayResident Evil / PS / Capcom / 1996
TuesdayAmnesia: The Dark Descent / PC / Frictional Games / 2010
Wednesday Sweet Home / NES / Capcom / 1989
ThursdayDeadly Premonition / Xbox360 / Access Games / 2010
Friday – All of the above games plus:
Binding of Isaac / PC / Edmund McMillen and Florian Himsl / 2011
Dark Souls / PS3 / From Software / 2011
Eternal Darkness / GameCube / Silicon Knights / 2002
Left 4 Dead 2 / Xbox360 / Valve / 2009
Resident Evil 4 / Wii / Capcom / 2005
Silent Hill 2 / PS2 / Konami / 2001