Article of Interest: Scared to Death

This month’s Article of Interest comes from Robin Cowie, Producer of The Blair Witch Project.

Yesterday, I sat down with a team of game designer students working at the Florida Interactive Entertainment Academy (FIEA) on an Oculus Rift horror game.  They had completed the first level of their game and wanted someone from the outside to come in and help brainstorm scares.  It lead me to two links:

The 10 scariest game moments of all time and this article on Motherboard.

For the last 6 months I’ve been completely obsessed with virtual reality and the coming wave of 360/3D cameras and gear.  The immersion is so transformational and complete that I can easily see how this form of entertainment could become the equivalent of heroin.  Almost every creative I know is exploring this medium and what it can do.  It’s one of the most exciting technologies I’ve seen in awhile.

So the question is, what responsibility do we have as entertainers to the minds and souls of our audience?  Certainly not a new question.  If you think on the gun packed entertainment we enjoy now and the terrifying real world shootings that surround us, are we as entertainers culpable? Or are we simply playing our role as a cultural mirror reflecting some form of truth for the world to do with as it pleases?

I have to admit, we came up with some heart smashing scares yesterday.  I can’t wait to see the finished game.  But I can’t help but think that one day karma’s going to virtually tap me on the shoulder and I’ll go out with with head gear and headphones strapped tightly to my cranium.



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