Tuesday, November 4, 2008

When Fear Begets Fear

Can fear affect your desires when applying the Law of Attraction? Absolutely! Fear can be paralyzing when attaining what you desire if you are not careful. And of course, fear can be debilitating in anything you do.

What is the purpose of fear? Fear can help us out when we are in a “do or die” situation. It can encourage us to be more cautious and is a way of protecting ourselves.

I have talked before about our survival self, the one that tells us when to be cautious, but we can sometimes use our survival self to be overprotective.
So how do we get rid of fear, or at least tame it in order to get what we want in life?

Let’s start by focusing on exactly what we are afraid of. Is our fear valid? For instance. Pretend we are preparing to jump out of a plane minus a parachute. In this instance our fear is validated by our survival self. We are telling ourselves that no parachute is something to fear. The fear and caution is valid.

Onto the next example. We are about to start at a new school and we are afraid that no one will like us and that we will do poorly because the teachers don’t know us. Is this fear valid? Does it threaten our physical well being? While our survival self is rearing its ugly head we need to tell it to back off. When you start to have the feeling of fear, make sure to examine it and see if it is a valid physical fear.

So now that we have figured out what to do, how do we actually stop being afraid? The Law of Attraction works such that the feeling you put out is the feeling you get back. Focus on what you don’t want and you will get what you don’t want. Focus on what you do want and…you will get what you want. Fear begets fear, joy begets joy, love begets love and the Universe will give you what you want. Simple really.

Handle your fear by asking if it is valid or not. If it is a valid fear, listen to it. If it is based on past experiences where you have been hurt or based on your own concern of failure, tell your survival self to take a risk and just do it anyway. Trust yourself.

Horror Games and Horror Movies – what elements do they contain that instill fear in their audiences?

Horror games and movies have developed over the years a very successful formula of evoking fear and anxiety in players and viewers.

Early horror films were limited in their technology and used things like lack of colour and sound to place an emphasis on the visual aspects of horror and suspense. Often times the early movies were based off of old legends and stories, like Nosferatu (1922) and Night of the Living Dead (1958).

Early video games were based on movies; the technology too was young and not very sophisticated. Early games included Halloween (1983), Friday the 13th (1985) and Splatterhouse (1988). Then in 1992 we were introduced to Wolfenstein and the Doom series in 1995. These games used new techniques where the characters were made to jump out at you and the music was used to set up the suspense.

In movies we can categorized horror into three genres:

 Slasher where it’s the monster against everyone else;
 Thriller/Suspense films where the emphasis is on the story and technical aspects that make the telling more effective and;
 Gore – lots of violence and blood.

In videos the emphasizes is on strategic play or aggressive play. There is a heavy influence from the Slasher and Thrill genres of movies. The majority of video games are classified as “survival horror”. The games follow a formula made popular by the Resident Evil series. Techniques include:

 third person
 surround sounds
 solitude and;
 a false sense of control over the situation

The Strategic play involves the games emphasize on puzzle solving in order to progress in the game and the avoidance of confrontation when possible. The Aggressive play involves the use of a variety of weapons and an opponent.

As horror films continue to push the envelope with the advancement of technology it stands to reason that video games too will expand out of their “survival horror” genre into something more gruesome and controversial.

SAW: The Video Game

While the latest release in the SAW series is not getting great reviews, Brash Entertainment is hard at work on two initiatives. One the release of SAW VI in October 2009 and the second, a new addition to the horror series of video games for Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3.

Video games based on films sometimes do not do so well especially horror films. Zombie Studios is the game developer. Interesting choice because they do not have any big name games on the market. When we think of successful horror games we think the DOOM and Resident Evil series. Zombie Studios is a Seattle based company, about 12 years old with some 22 titles available for gamers.

To their credit they are not rushing to get the game out the door but instead are taking a year to develop and work with the SAW creators James Wan and Leigh Whannell to get into the mind of Jigsaw and his victims.

Saw is not intended to be a simple “survival horror” game but more of a “horror thriller” game like the film. There will be elements from the survival horror genre like exploration and puzzles but the creators are hoping to introduce elements of gameplay not seen before in video games.

Saw, the video game will be based on the events that take place after the original movie.

So just how gruesome is the Saw game going to be? We have been promised the same quality and quantity of action as the SAW films.

Jigsaw said it best with. “Oh yes, there will be blood”.

Do Horror Films and Video Games Breed Violence?

A couple of thoughts.

It has been often speculated that kids who watch violent movies and play violent video games mimic the actions and become violent. We have all heard news reports of games and films being blamed for breeding murderers.

Do you think horror films and video games are responsible for children becoming violent? Would you let your children play these sort of games? Or watch violent movies and television programmes?

I think that is the easy way out – blaming others. When do we take responsibility for making informed decisions and providing the right value system and options for children? Sure it’s easy to blame a game if that is all the child knows. What behavior is role modeled for the child? What opinions are expressed around the child? We can take this argument all the way back to the old “are we products of our environment or is our behaviour all pre-programmed by genetics”?

While genetics play a part we are definitely products of our environment. It is important that children are exposed to the right behaviours and the right values. A child can be taught the difference between right and wrong. This is everyone's responsbility.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

The Horror of Christmas?

Perhaps it’s the cynic in me but with Halloween come and gone the horror of the Christmas season is about to be unleashed on us.

November 1st and the malls have Santa’s Castle awaiting his arrival. Window displays are full of Christmas cheer.

With that in mind I thought I would share a few holiday heart-warmers and Christmas classics.

Christmas Evil aka Terror in Toyland

A warm, family film about a foreman in the Jolly Dream Toy Factory who understands the true meaning of Christmas. Understandably upset by the crass commercialism he sees everywhere, he dresses up as Santa one Christmas and sets out to reward good little boys and girls and punish the naughty ones!

“Better Watch Out…Better Not Cry…Or you May Die!”

Don’t Open Till Christmas

Instead of a killer Santa this film has a psycho killing Santas. A warm holiday theme.

Silent Night, Deadly Night (the original)

A young orphan learns an important life lesson about good and evil in a Catholic orphanage. When he grows up he plays Santa at a store and decides he really is Santa and that he should reward good children and punish the naughty.

So break out the popcorn and VCR because I am not sure these holiday classics come on DVD.