The horror genre in video games has been around since the 1980s, growing in popularity and improving as technology has allowed for more immersive and interactive experiences. Horror games have become one of the most popular genres in recent years, with a wide range of titles from indie games to blockbuster titles. This article will explore the history of horror in video games and its evolution over the decades, from its humble beginnings in the early days of gaming to the modern era of virtual and augmented reality horror.
Before exploring the history of horror in video games, it is important to define what horror is. Generally, horror is defined as a genre of literature, film, and other media that is designed to cause fear, shock, and dread in its audience. Horror games are designed to elicit these same emotions in players as they face challenging scenarios, often involving supernatural or terrifying creatures.
History of Horror in Video Games
The first horror video game was released in 1982, titled Haunted House. It was a simple game, with the player exploring a haunted mansion and trying to collect items while avoiding monsters. While the game was relatively basic, it set the tone for future horror games.
Early Horror Video Games
The early years of horror games were largely dominated by classic Capcom titles. The 1989 game Sweet Home was one of the first horror games to include elements of role-playing, with the player controlling a team of characters exploring a haunted mansion. Alone in the Dark was released in 1992 and is credited with popularizing 3D graphics in horror games, as well as introducing the concept of inventory management. The game was a major success and paved the way for the release of Resident Evil in 1996, which is widely considered to be the first true survival horror game.
Horror Genre in the 2000s
The 2000s saw the horror genre expand and evolve, with the release of several classic horror games. Silent Hill was released in 1999, introducing psychological horror elements to the genre. The Suffering was released in 2004 and is credited with introducing open-world elements to horror games. 2005 saw the release of Condemned: Criminal Origins, which is credited with popularizing the use of melee weapons in horror games. The Fatal Frame series was released between 2001 and 2017 and is widely considered to be one of the best horror franchises of all time.
Survival Horror in the 2010s
The 2010s saw the survival horror genre become one of the most popular genres in gaming. Dead Space was released in 2008 and is credited with popularizing the use of zero-gravity in horror games. Amnesia: The Dark Descent was released in 2010 and is widely considered to be one of the best horror games of all time, introducing the concept of sanity management to the genre. Outlast was released in 2013 and is credited with popularizing the use of found footage in horror games. Alien: Isolation was released in 2014 and is credited with popularizing the use of stealth in horror games.
Indie Horror Games
The 2010s also saw the rise of indie horror games, with the release of several classic titles. Slender: The Eight Pages was released in 2012 and is credited with popularizing the use of first-person horror. Five Nights at Freddy’s was released in 2014 and is credited with popularizing the use of jump scares in horror games. Layers of Fear was released in 2016 and is credited with popularizing the use of psychological horror. Visage was released in 2018 and is credited with popularizing the use of procedural generation in horror games.
Horror Games of the Future
The future of horror games is looking bright, with developers turning to new technologies to create more immersive and interactive horror experiences. Augmented reality horror games are becoming more popular, allowing players to experience horror in the real world. Virtual reality horror games are also becoming more popular, allowing players to experience horror in a fully immersive environment. Open-world horror games are becoming more popular, allowing players to explore vast and terrifying worlds. Procedurally generated horror games are also becoming more popular, allowing players to experience new and unpredictable horror scenarios.
The horror genre in video games has come a long way since its humble beginnings in the 1980s, and it shows no signs of slowing down. Horror games have had a major impact on the gaming industry, inspiring developers to create more immersive and interactive horror experiences. With the rise of new technologies, such as augmented and virtual reality, the future of horror games looks bright, and the genre continues to evolve and expand.
Haunted House. (1982). Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haunted_House_(1982_video_game)
Sweet Home. (1989). Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sweet_Home_(video_game)
Alone in the Dark. (1992). Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alone_in_the_Dark_(1992_video_game)
Resident Evil. (1996). Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Resident_Evil_(video_game)
Silent Hill. (1999). Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silent_Hill_(video_game)
The Suffering. (2004). Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Suffering_(video_game)
Condemned: Criminal Origins. (2005). Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Condemned:_Criminal_Origins
Fatal Frame. (2001-2017). Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fatal_Frame
Dead Space. (2008). Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dead_Space_(video_game)
Amnesia: The Dark Descent. (2010). Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amnesia:_The_Dark_Descent
Outlast. (2013). Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Outlast_(video_game)
Alien: Isolation. (2014). Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alien:_Isolation
Slender: The Eight Pages. (2012). Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slender:_The_Eight_Pages
Five Nights at Freddy’s. (2014). Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Five_Nights_at_Freddy%27s
Layers of Fear. (2016). Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Layers_of_Fear
Visage. (2018). Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Visage_(video_game)
What was the first horror game?
The first horror game was a Haunted House overlay which was included with the Magnavox Odyssey, the first ever video game console, in 1972! The game was inspired by classic haunted house fiction, and set the foundation for the awesome horror games we have today.
What was the first thrilling horror video game?
The first spine-tingling horror video game was Haunted House!
What is it about old horror games that makes them so scary?
The animation cycles of old horror games often create a unique and unsettling atmosphere. The choppy and unrealistic movement cycles coupled with the creepy noises and running create a truly terrifying experience for players.
What is the top-rated horror game in the world?
1. Outlast. Outlast is an incredibly thrilling experience, immersing you in a remote psychiatric hospital to uncover reports of horrific events. It is sure to provide you with a heart-pounding and unforgettable adventure!