Great Escape – Horror games
You like terrifying games and horror movies, while the idea of a ride in an amusement park fascinates you? A strange cocktail of dopamine and adrenaline make the mind searching this type of experience, again and again. Fear is probably one of the most basic survival instincts for all the species on our planet! The plethora of brain parts that analyse an upcoming threat, are a fact that shows the significance of fear.
Human species, has certainly lived most of its evolutionary course as a prey, rather than a predator. We had to be alert and ready to face the threat at all times. However, brain points such as the amygdala, the brain stem, the hypothalamus and the hippocampus, which were constantly alert, have begun to under-perform. The main reason, is the existence of man, at the top of the food chain for thousands of years.
Building a society in which we have excluded everything that causes fear, we are now trying to create controlled horror tests. So, we are trying to make all these parts of the brain, which have been created through millions of years of evolution, to function again. Horror Games, wakes up one of the most basic instincts and becomes a form of entertainment. We put ourselves in a state of fear, without any real danger, to experience this feeling of euphoria that follows.
The Horror Games are extremely famous nowadays and have fanatical fans around the world. In addition to the intense feelings they cause, they also teach us to manage fear and face the unexpected. After all, fear is an integral part of human culture. We meet fear in fairy tales, cinema, theatre, music, even in Video Games. Surely, fear has been incorporated in almost all of our social activities in an attempt to exorcise it … But let us see how our brain works in a state of intense fear.
Horror Games & Brain Functions
The process begins with the optical nerve, which receives and carries the visual signal to the “Amygdala”! Amygdala is the part of the brain, which is responsible for identifying the threat. Then there is the “brain stem”, which is the part of the brain that causes the momentary paralysis of the body, or what we call freezing. Then “Hippocampus” is the one who puts us in a state of battle or escape, or as they say Fight or Flight … At the same time the “hypothalamus” secretes the necessary hormones, the “prefrontal cortex” compares fear with previous experiences and finally “Front lobe” decides whether to defend or not.
In fractions of a second, the brain secretes about 30 different hormones to prepare the body and the spirit for battle. The pulses go up, we inhale quickly large amounts of oxygen, insulin production stops so that larger amounts of glucose make the brain over-function, and the heart raises the pulses in order to send more blood in the muscles. Within these fractions of a second, where the anterior lobe needs to analyze the signal received by the amygdala, the human body:
- Is poured with cold sweat to cool off the hyper-perfusion of the muscles.
- Eye pupils dilate to better distinguish the danger.
- Some basic functions of the body, such as digestion, are inhibited in order to save energy.
Horror Games – The Ritual
Something is coming and its hungry for blood, a shadow across the wall behind you, and swallow you in the darkness. Time has lost its meaning. Fear is your only companionship, and death is the best that could happens to you… The “The Ritual” comes to break the security cocoons, make you stronger and entertain you. Strange hormone secretions, in one of the most frightening games that play with your mind and nerves! The atmospheric scenery and the music, combined with the Live acting of the room, will surely make you scream! Great Escape, offer an unforgettable experience that you will never forget. One of the most exciting Things to do in Athens, for sure!
And, as Steven King said, “We are inventing horror games to help us cope with our real fears.”