Theorycrafting: The Horror Genre (if there even is one)

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Halloween snuck by me this year. It seemed like Valve forgot as well, as the Steam Halloween sale started much later than in previous years. Not every spooky game was on sale either. Elder Sign: Omens and Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the World remained stubbornly undiscounted on my wish list. Despite this little first-world problem, I thought it might be a good time to bring up another minor inconvenience in my land of pretentious game theory. The genre labeling system as we know it has become antiquated. Shooter, strategy, platformer, and so on have become insufficient in being the only means of classifying a game’s format. However, of all labels, it may be “survival horror” that is the least descriptive of a game’s mechanics, thus illustrating a seemingly endless possibility of overlap for traditional genres. Continue reading

Catching Up With… Alan Wake (and the Media Monster)

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There are a few pet peeves of mine that have become more prevalent in gaming. As mentioned before, one is the imitation of TV and movies. Another would be the licensing of popular music. Lastly, incessant use of references to other media. Remedy Entertainment’s Alan Wake has all of these things, but this is one of those rare instances where it actually has synergy with some of the themes of the game. Continue reading