Author Topic: What is your view regarding jokes in horror adventure games? Like or dislike? ;)  (Read 1517 times)

Danvzare

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It seems i am more hardcore in horror tastes than most of you guys :=

I don't really like jokes/funny moments in horror. I like funny memes (and do laugh with them), but horror should be a little serious so as to work a bit (even when remaining serious, it usually doesn't work at all; which is a shame). :)
I must admit, I only watch horror to laugh.

But there's a good reason for that. As far as I know (based on a book I read once, please correct me if I'm wrong), laughing is a nervous response to seeing something that defies expectations. It's why you can laugh at someone suddenly hurting themselves (and why there is a German word for exactly that), it's also if you think about it, very similar to horror. Since people are scared of things they don't understand, which of course includes the unexpected, especially people suddenly being stabbed through the chest by someone who appeared out of nowhere.
Have you noticed any similarities here? Someone hurts themselves, and it's either funny or scary, depending on the context. Because the only real difference I can find between something being funny and something being scary, is that for it to be funny, you need to realize at the end that there's no immediate danger. It's like "Oh I'm scar... no I'm not! Ha ha!"

So in my opinion, horror is the perfect partner for comedy. And even a pure serious horror can be hilarious if seen from the correct angle. I remember sniggering at Georgie having his arm ripped off by IT in the newest movie. Or maybe I'm just a psychopath. That's also possible.



Another thing to note. There are some horrors I just can't laugh at because I'm too much of a coward to find it anything but terrifying. (laugh)

KyriakosCH

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^Horror can be tied to a sense of the uncanny; Freud had written an article on that (although imo he tried very hard to explain horror in art in way of psychoanalysis). :) But yes, something "unexpected" is often causing either severe fright or laughter.
De Maupassant was heavily focused on the former case; fear due to fear itself, caused by external stuff of little importance.
If you feel like it, you can read an article of mine exactly on De Maupassant and this issue: on horror and De Maupassant (nod)
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Danvzare

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Ooh, thanks for linking me to that article, I'll read it straight after posting this. :-D

To add to my previous statement and to build onto this topic as a whole.
There are several types of humour, for example laughing at a pun is very different to laughing at someone else's misery. Likewise, there are different types of horror, being scared of a jumpscare and being scared of an impending jumpscare, are quite different too.

So certain types of humour is very similar to certain types of horror, and it's that relationship that I think works. It's why some people react to a scary moment in a horror game by laughing, and some simply just scream.

One way to boil it down, is that often (not always) humour and horror are just two sides of the same coin.

KyriakosCH

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Some people have even (literally) died laughing, too.
Eg a famous ancient greek painter, who couldn't stop laughing after seeing a donkey enjoying eating figs so much.
The historian of philosophy, Diogenes Laertius, comments that "having laughed too hard, he died" :=
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I love them. As someone said before, you have to reset people back to baseline. Even people in reality in real horrific situations stop being scared after a while and just consider it normal. That happens a lot more quickly when it's not real, so you have to do something to reassure them so you can scare them again.

KyriakosCH

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It depends on the overall structure of the work, though :) I mean, in some works (based on jump-scares or survival-related sequences) you would need to reset first, as you said. But that isn't so for works which are based on a substrata of causing a sense that something uncanny is going on. There the sense must be at work throughout, and typically it will gain as the story reaches an end (although it may never be actually validated fully, or resolved in any way).
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Mandle

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It depends on the overall structure of the work, though :) I mean, in some works (based on jump-scares or survival-related sequences) you would need to reset first, as you said. But that isn't so for works which are based on a substrata of causing a sense that something uncanny is going on. There the sense must be at work throughout, and typically it will gain as the story reaches an end (although it may never be actually validated fully, or resolved in any way).

Interesting. I think one of the most "dreadful" books spiralling down into an ending completely devoid of any hope for any characters was Pet Semetary by Stephen King...

There are not a lot of laughs in this book that I recall...

However, there is a moment where the wife is driving back home because her little daughter had had some dreams about "Paxcow", the ghost of one of her husband's brief patients...

Anyway, she passes by a signpost, while getting a bit sleepy, that shows the turnoff to "Salem's Lot" and thinks that she doesn't like the name and even considers "Come and spend the night in Salem's Lot" as an option but this snaps her out of her sleepiness as a really bad idea. I guess she also has a bit of her daughter's intuition going on.

This could be considered a comedic moment for King fan readers but doesn't rob from the tension of the moment and actually provides a real reason for her to snap out of her drowsiness and continue on driving through the night.

(This now makes me want to make a game where she did turn off to stay overnight in Salem's Lot...damnit!!)
« Last Edit: 20 Aug 2018, 16:22 by Mandle »

KyriakosCH

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Curiously i think that english-speaking authors tend to have more jokes/humour in "dark" stories, than (eg) continental euro ones.

Well, ok, it's not likely that germans would have actual humour; but french tend to not have this either, in darker works (laugh)

Of course it ultimately is about the specific author. Lovecraft isn't known for humour either (nod)
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Do you know/remember the giant zombie cat from the "Cat Lady"? I think it served a good comic relief:

=2757
« Last Edit: 20 Aug 2018, 16:21 by Crimson Wizard »

KyriakosCH

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Well, yes. It is part of the reason why i didn't suggest The Cat Lady as horror without humour (laugh)
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