Fear and Shiver: before and after Film Horror in Videogames

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Videogame maintains all kinds of exchanges with cinema. Terror is a particularly interesting field in attending to the dialogues, the ups and downs and the silences between the two media. In the 80s, videogames works with iconographies and motifs of cinematic terror. Precarious attempts to imitate forms of shock typical of the genre in cinema are noticeable, without an appropriation of the resources of cinema language or the establishment of a proper genre. The growth of 3D graphic engines in the 90s allows to replicate resources of film language. The operation condensing such transformation is the jumpscare, the element that modeled the enunciation of the genre. Survival horror is consolidated as the first stable form of videoludic terror After 2010, videogame enters a new phase and practices shock strategies outside its relationship with cinema. Some games abandon three-dimensional realism and cinematographic resources to return to previous stylistic developments and explore the uncertain register and vacillation of the fantastic. Each stage brings together textual strategies that mobilize, on the level of enunciation, different forms of shock. Cinematographic terror functions as a production mode for the first two phases, while the third one refers back to the mediatic past of videogame, seeking there the expressive supplies for the deployment of new forms of shock.

Key words

Videogame, cinema, horror, enunciation, survival horror.

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