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Tag Archives: Video Games

As part of my new year’s resolution, I’m trying to read a book a week.  This got a little rocky mid-January to now, but I’m firmly back on the horse.

Currently reading: The Madness of Cthulhu, Vol. 1.  I have to say, I hadn’t heard of this anthology until I stumbled across it in Half Price Books, but it’s edited by S.T. Joshi (score 1!) and I hadn’t read any of the stories before (score 2!).  So far it appears to be focused on the Mountains of Madness–lots of Old Ones and shoggoths.  The intro did give me a bit of pause, particularly when Joshi claimed that the encounter with the shoggoth is one of the most chilling in weird fiction.  (It was train-like.  And also very bubbly.  Those were my sole take-aways.)

Madness of CthulhuI’m a little non-plussed so far.  Most of the stories revolve around the shoggoths and/or old ones, and to me, they were probably the least affecting elements of the story.  The real horror (I think) lies in the isolation and the sheer helplessness of Antarctic exploration, combined with the wonder/weirdness/growing sense of inferiority as the scientist explore the ruined city.  But we’ll see (and this anthology also has a mythos story by Caitlin R. Kiernan that I haven’t read, which I’m stupidly excited about).

The AV club recently ran an interview with Matt Duff, the author of the newly-published Lovecraft Country, in which he lists his five favorite books and stories that combine real and supernatural horrors.  I have to admit, I haven’t read any of Duff’s stuff, but his commentary on these stories struck me as very insightful.  He doesn’t seem to be a Lovecraft fan boy (which, I will admit, was the first thing I thought when I read the title), and it’s always interesting to see what non-explicitly-Lovecraftian writers do with the mythos.

In horror video game news, while *I* haven’t been playing anything new (thanks to my lack of hand-eye coordination), I am currently watching as my husband plays through Soma.  It’s by the same people who made Amnesia, which was unequivocally terrifying.  I’m not quite sure what point we’re at in the game play, but I have to admit, I’m not really finding this frightening.  Lots of hand-wringing about What It Means to Be a Human and What it Means to Exist, which, frankly, does not really move me overmuch, at least not in the context of our fearless protagonist waxing melancholic (and very explicitly) about these issues.  And given the underwater setting, it’s basically a really, really mopey Bioshock.  Will update you all if any plot twists happen to blow my mind and make me see everything in a new light.

Any book suggestions for me?  Any new horror caught your eye?  Anyone ready to argue for the merits of Soma?  Lemme have it!

The Cultist

I’m not a game person.

the rapture is coming

I never was allowed to play video or computer games as a kid, so I don’t really have the hand-eye coordination or basic know-how to do so as an adult.  And for the most part, I’m fine with that.

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But sometimes a game comes along that I’m just desperate to play, and when that happens, I make one of my more skilled friends play it for me while I watch over their shoulder.

TRIHAYWBFRFYH-ss-1

I have very patient and wonderful friends.

The Rapture is Here And You Will Be Forcibly Removed From Your Home is one such game.  Thankfully for them, it’s only 20 minutes long.

Buzzfeed (yes, I did find this on Buzzfeed, and no, I am not ashamed of this fact) wrote up a pretty good piece on it.  It’s visually striking but simple.  There’s no real goals, nothing to do.  It’s an exploratory game, and the premise is simple.  The world is ending in 20 minutes.  You have 20 minutes in which to walk around, and do whatever it is one might want to do in the last 20 minutes of the world.

For my money, the stark beauty, the growing oppressiveness, and the feeling of hopelessness encapsulate the best aspects of Lovecraftian horror.  I’d recommend it to anyone who loves the existential side of weird fiction.  If you’re all about the tentacled monstrosities and the protoplasmic jello…well, there’s none of that here.  But it’s only a 20-minute commitment, so I feel comfortable recommending it anyway.

The Cultist

P.S. Does anyone have any recommendations for weird horror games?  I’d love to check them out, and by check them out, I mean holler directions, commentary, and expletives over my husband’s shoulder as he makes his way through them.