Horror games should be intentionally un-fun, says horror game designer

Videogames are stuffed to the brim with “fun” little feedback loops, like level-maxing and crossbow upgrades and loot-a-thons. But according to Thomas Grip, author of some of the most hair-raising horror games around, such as Amnesia: The Dark Descent and the anticipated SOMA, those delicious systems just get in the way when trying to scare the bejesus out of us. 

In an interesting slice of academia over at Gamasutra, Grip explains that all those game designer tricks to make games more fun will kill the scares. “The gameplay mechanic is almost sort of a side thing,” he says. I imagine it’d be hard to get freaked out while the reward-center of your brain is flushed with dopamine.

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