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Animal Crossing: New Leaf and the Diversity of Horror in Video Games
Brunel University London.
University of Skövde, School of Informatics. University of Skövde, The Informatics Research Centre. (Interaction Lab)
2015 (English)In: Proceedings of the 2015 DiGRA International Conference: Diversity of Play: Games – Cultures - Identities, Digital Games Research Association (DiGRA) , 2015Conference paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This paper explores the diverse ways horror can be conveyed in games by investigating how games that are not associated with the horror genre can produce unsettling or scary experiences. To conduct this exploration, this study uses interaction mapping, as outlined by Consalvo and Dutton (2006), to examine a game that has thoroughly pleasant and cutesy trappings: Animal Crossing: New Leaf (Nintendo 2013). The interactions were analysed according to three themes prevalent within literature on horror and horror games: the loss of agency, the Freudian uncanny, and the Heideggerian uncanny. Ultimately, this paper demonstrates that a game which is not explicitly scary is occasionally made so through its rudimentary simulation of human behaviour and societal constructs as well as its autonomous functions and inclusion of real-world time, showing that games have very diverse means of conveying unsettling or horrifying experiences. The paper also shows how frameworks used to analyse games in the horror genre can be applicable to critical readings of non-horror games in order to understand the unexpected player reactions they can evoke.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Digital Games Research Association (DiGRA) , 2015.
, Digital Games Research Association, ISSN 2342-9666 ; 12
Keyword [en]
agency, Animal Crossing: New Leaf, diversity of game horror, Horror games, interaction mapping, uncanny
National Category
Interaction Technologies
Research subject
Humanities and Social sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:his:diva-11606OAI: diva2:860375
DiGRA 2015, May 14th-17th, Lüneburg, Germany
Available from: 2015-10-12 Created: 2015-10-12 Last updated: 2016-01-26Bibliographically approved

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Berg Marklund, Björn
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