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The rise of VHS horror games

The introduction of VHS cassettes in the 1970s was a revolution in bringing horror closer to people. Two decades before, television became the primary medium for affecting public opinion, trumping newspapers and radio. This bore a generation eager to sit around a humming electronic box in their living rooms, allowing all kinds of foreign images to infiltrate their homes. But these broadcasts were typically newsreels and government-approved screenings—images under state control. VHS put more power to the viewer, who could decide what to watch and when, just by inserting a box-shaped pack of plastic into a tape player and letting its…

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Foot-tall Hotline Miami toys will presumably murder your pets

Imagine this thing stalking behind your houseplants, or peering from behind the claw-foot of your bathtub. Designers Dennaton games have partnered with ESC-TOY to create this toy (“doll,” I feel like some people would say) version of the protagonist of their 2012 instant-classic Hotline Miami. The character, referred to as Jacket by fans and, eventually, the developers themselves, spattered blood about the hotels and mansions of Miami using baseball bats, golf clubs, assault rifles and his bare fists. Now you can own a tiny version of him.  The game, which has a sequel due out later this year, viewed the…