What horror game creators think about jump scares

Jump scares are often considered cheap scares, and to some extent that reputation is justified. I’ve played games and seen films where the scares are exhausting rather than exciting, and they’re not much more sophisticated than someone jumping out of a cupboard and shouting ‘boo’. Context is everything, though—jump scares can be a valid device in horror if it doesn’t feel like the only thing the creators are throwing at you.

“If you don’t do the suspense correctly,” said James Wan, director of movies like The Conjuring and Saw, back in 2016, “then your jump scares are not going to work.” The same principle applies to games.

Fear tactics

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