Author: Savannah

Searching for Words in Dear Esther

I’ll admit, the first time I played through Dear Esther I was severely disappointed and a bit confused. I had expected this to be a survival horror since I’d heard that thechineseroom is also developing levels for the new Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs game coming out this summer. I found that Esther was lacking in what I had expected from a game.

On the other hand, I found that Dear Esther wasn’t a game at all: It was a work of poetry.


Dear Esther stretches the definition of the video game to its limits by only requiring  its player  to press the  forward key and explore a beautifully crafted island off the shore of Scotland.  … Read the rest

Can Horror and Art Coincide? A Close Reading (Playing) of Amnesia: the Dark Descent


Having asked whether games lie within the realm of art, it can be said that a game is capable of “doing art” particularly if it inspires or affects the one evaluating it. But can we say that a survival horror game engenders this emotional catharsis in the same manner as other game genres? I ask this because the genre is comparably different from RPG or strategy games in that it is defined less by its set up and more by the specific effect it is meant to have on the players, i.e. its ability to make them scream.

That being said, we need to recognize what elements of a game must be “scary enough” to make it a survival horror.… Read the rest