sleep no more

Are videogames ruining Sleep No More?

She should have died hereafter; There would have been a time for such a word. — To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow, Creeps in this petty pace from day to day, To the last syllable of recorded time; And all our yesterdays have lighted fools The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle! Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player That struts and frets his hour upon the stage And then is heard no more. It is a tale Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury Signifying nothing. -Macbeth Nestled in the deep dark corners of Chelsea,…


Visit the latest haunted cities from the queen of horror games

Further cementing herself as an architecture goddess, Kitty Horrorshow has publicly released a collection of three games and a flash-fiction story called Haunted Cities. These were all projects originally made as exclusive rewards for those backing her on Patreon for $5 a month, the deal being that you get one of Horrorshow’s virtual worlds a month for the subscription—these four were released across November 2015 to February 2016. If you’re familiar with Horrorshow then your expectations for Haunted Cities shouldn’t be amiss. These are lo-fi videogames that prioritize looming architecture and eerie synth work over everything else. Rather than offering, say, puzzles…


Two5six is now The Kill Screen Festival

Join us June 4th, 2016 for our fourth annual festival. The Kill Screen Festival, formerly Two5six, is a weekend dedicated to celebrating creative collaboration between games and other great art. We bring together two speakers, one from within games and one from without, to discuss a topic pertinent to both of their work. The conversations that result are often unexpected but always interesting and inspiring. This festival has a lot to offer everyone from those who play games religiously to those who don’t know Link from Zelda. Our lineup this year features some of the most promising creators in independent gaming…


ANATOMY is a masterpiece of cassette tape horror

The scariest part of The Exorcist (1973) for me wasn’t all the bedroom acrobatics and green puke, it was a much subtler scene. In it, Father Karras sits before large spinning reels as they playback the recorded voice of possessed 12-year-old Reagan MacNeil, all of it incomprehensible gurgled groans and anguished, hoarse throatiness. Karras wants to know what language it is and the guy who’s assisting him has the answer: “It’s a language alright.” He pauses. “It’s English.” Turns out Reagan was speaking English in reverse. It then cuts to Karras later that night, lit by the low light of…


Explore a lonely house in this videogame about accepting absence

If you’ve ever moved house you should be familiar with the peculiar act of emptying familiar spaces. In doing this myself, I’ve come to realize that memories not only lie within the objects we own but also the walls and floors we have them occupy. The difference is that we have to leave those memories behind with the architecture (it’s why I always take a long last glance of each empty room before shutting the door). There’s a sadness to this. I see this captured in Albert Lai’s (creator of 2:22AM) exploration game ten moons. He calls it a “mood piece…


Kitty Horrorshow’s most personal game yet is a trip through sad architecture

The architecture in Kitty Horrorshow’s videogames has always had the biggest presence. In CHYRZA it was a midnight pyramid that bore down upon you while collating pieces of its monstrous history. Sunset Spirit Sky had jagged helter-skelters to climb and silhouetted windmills with blades like black knives carving up the deep pink skies. Her first, DUST CITY, seemed to serve up a slice of hell’s residential areas for us to navigate with trepidation. what all the stones and their many shapes represent.  Horror and fear were tied to these buildings. And what made them more unnerving was their utter stillness;…


Fear the pyramid with CHYRZA’s Twilight Zone-style horror

If you look beyond the sillier plots of classic TV series The Twilight Zone (such as Dennis Hopper getting leadership lessons from a not-dead-actually Adolf Hitler) then you can find a distinct type of timeless horror. It’s not the shock-gore or psychotic killer chases of schlocky horror films and countless videogames; that’s too easy. It’s the creepy and unknowing horror that you take to bed with you against your will. It’s cosmic horror: the fear of the unknown, the questions that we can’t answer, those menacing shadowy outlines that disappear when you blink. the narrator talks in gross detail about…