Honorable Mention in Horror: Minecraft
“Minecraft”, by now that name must be familiar to pretty much everybody on the internet. I am pretty sure that everybody has at least seen a Youtube video about the game, but while everybody knows the game, nobody really knows how to classify it; some people call it a sandbox in its purest form, others call it an art tool, I have heard people call it an adventure game, but most importantly: there are people who call it a survival horror game.
In Minecraft you take control over a character fans refer to as “a miner”, there is no real goal in the game except for survival. With the recent 1.8 update survival doesn’t just mean avoiding cliffs and lava, but also keeping yourself fed with meat from the animals that roam the game world. During the day you can do whatever you want, most of the things you will be doing involve crafting items and using blocks to build structures, but during the night you are forced to stay inside your home while an army of zombies is hunting for tasty humans.
It’s one of the rare games that not only tackles the horror part of the genre, but also the survival part. A game where “survival” doesn’t refer to mowing down zombies with assault rifles or lobbing grenades at Spanish peasants in HD re-releases. Anybody who brings up the guts to walk outside during the night will quickly find out that his pathetic little slap is as effective as throwing peanuts at a military helicopter and zombies tend to hunt in packs backed up by skeletons with bows.
The game has only gotten better with the recent 1.8 update, but the Enderman are rather innocent when compared to the “creeper”. While the Creeper (see image below) may strike a newcomer as friendly, his sad appearance is a mere trick to fool people into approaching him, a lot like the Witches from Left 4 Dead. When within range the Creeper will explode, killing the player almost instantly and leaving a giant hole behind. There is no quicker way to lose your house or cause serious damage because Creepers also come in packs which allows them to cause beautiful chain reactions. Emerging from a mine only to find out nighttime has arrived and I now have to run away from all my works of art before they are blown to pieces is both tense and hilarious at the same time, even more so when you see somebody else doing it online.
Minecraft is a wonderful game, I have been playing it since it started and I still can’t get enough of it. While I am not really scared of it anymore and my current server has the zombies turned off, it was still a great experience when I started out. Hearing a newcomer yell like a teenage girl with a tarantula on her leg over Skype is still priceless though. You might argue that there are scarier games out there that deserve a spot on this list, but believe me, you will not say that when you made it home just in time, only to find out that a Zombie spawned in that one corner you forgot to lit. Sleep well, Miner, sleep well.