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Psychoanalyzing Resident Evil and Silent Hill 67

The Game Career Guide site has up a piece doing a psychological examination of horror games. The uber-successful series Resident Evil and Silent Hill go under the microscope, giving readers a look at the psychological archetypes the games elicit, while also discussing the titles from a gameplay standpoint. It is the author's contention that the RE series is the 'standard' for the genre, while Silent Hill games shake up the gamer's viewpoint with 'avant-garde' elements. An interesting, and thoroughly academic look, at the modern face of gaming horror.
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Psychoanalyzing Resident Evil and Silent Hill

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  • wow... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by onemorehour ( 162028 ) * on Tuesday February 06, 2007 @07:58PM (#17914078)

    From this perspective, Saddler's long tentacles could be considered maternal, representing the "umbilical" (discussed further below) rather than the traditional phallic.
    This article is, hands-down, the stupidest thing I've read all day.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 06, 2007 @08:32PM (#17914528)
    Silent Hill is about subtle horror and intelligent, deep plot development. Silent Hill doesn't have monsters, the monsters in Silent Hill are the characters.

    Resident Evil is a stupid action game with cheap OH-I-NEVER-EXPECTED-DOGS-WOULD-SUDDENLY-BURST-OUT- OF-THAT-WINDOW shock effects designed for 15 year olds.

    I'm not going to read this article because even somebody that actually likes RE will agree that RE and SH are completely different games.
  • Re:wow... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Petrushka ( 815171 ) on Tuesday February 06, 2007 @11:18PM (#17916006)

    A tentacle can be just a tentacle if you're a biologist. But this is a horror scenario: what is it about tentacles that makes them fitting in a horror scenario? Not necessarily an easy question to answer.

    The gpp is quite right that the article is talking nonsense about this, though: it's got nothing to do with blurring boundaries in Kristeva's sense, or abjection. Probably lots of people will have different views on what it is about tentacles that make them "horror"-fic; what do Cthulhu, Saddler, Demogorgon, and the pool creature in LotR have in common?

    Well, for one thing, they're all male. However, the classic psychoanalytic icon of a tentacular mass is the snakes on Medusa's head, which Freud interpreted as iconic of female pubic hair.

    OK, starting to get bored. Basically, for an article trying to do a "psychoanalytic" reading, it's way too Lacanian for its own good. In fact it's not a psychoanalytic reading at all -- the references to Kristeva, and to Heideggerian and Derridean terminology make that clear -- it's really just a straightforward deconstructive reading, using an excessively large vocabulary and excessively convoluted sentences to disguise the fact that all the ideas in it are someone else's. It's kinda novel to see it being done on video games, but that's just another self-conscious postmodernist gesture.

"Well, social relevance is a schtick, like mysteries, social relevance, science fiction..." -- Art Spiegelman