Are Video Games Getting Weirder?
The influence of weird fiction is seen in many 90s-era horror/survival games such as Alone in the Dark (1992), Doom (1993), Resident Evil (1996), Diablo (1997) and Silent Hill (1999). Devil May Cry (2001) also centered around an Eldritch Knight. The Resident Evil and Silent Hill franchises spawned films, and dominated the landscape for the next decade, with newer titles like Geist (2005) having a hard time competing. After the release of the visually stunning but critically panned Silent Hill movie sequel, Silent Hill: Revelation (2012) something interesting happened. The video game franchise petered out, and a new generation of weird video games like Outlast (2013), was spawned. Videogames like Call of Cthulhu (2018), Darkwood (2017), Sundered: Eldritch Edition (2017) and The Shore (2021) are directly inspired by the works of HP Lovecraft, but they are not the only titles inspired by the weird. Also of note is the presence of the weird in dark fantasy games. Final Fantasy XIII-2 (2011) and XIII-3 (2013) took a turn for the weird when godlike antagonist Caius Ballad broke time itself. Dragon Age: Inquisition (2014) made the Gods of Thedas flesh in a plotline where zombie-hybrid god wannabe Corypheus is willing to destroy spacetime in order to break into the City of the Gods. The trend will continue in Dragon Age: Dreadwolf (2023) when Elven trickster god Solas tries to destroy the wall between reality as we know it and the veil.
Moderator Sumiko Saulson, Panelists Sarah Walker, D B Spitzer, David Heath
Sumiko Saulson is an award-winning author of Afrosurrealistmulticultural sci-fi and horror. Author of the LOHR Reader’sChoice Award-winning collection Within Me Without Me (Dooky Zines), and the
novel Happiness and Other Diseases (Mocha Memoirs Press). Winner of the Carry the Light Award (2016) BCC Voice "Reframing the Other" contest (2017), Mixy Award (2017), Afrosurrealist Writer Award (2018),), Ladies of Horror Reader’s Choice Award (2021), and the HWA Richard Laymon President’s Award (2021). They write a column called "Writing While Black" for a national Black Newspaper, the San Francisco BayView.
Sarah Walker is an artist, anthropologist, and writer of horror living in the Pacific Northwest. Her work appears in publications such as Audient Void, Lovecraft Ezine Press, Vastarien, and many more. She co-edited the Folk Horror anthology, A Walk in A Darker Wood with Gordon White, Phil Breach, and Duane Pesice, and A Walk in a City of Shadows: Tales of Urban Legendry, with Nora B. Peevy, Jill Hand, Gordon White, and Phil Breach.
DB Spitzer is a Podcaster and Portland native. Co host, editor and producer of 'People's Guide to the Cthulhu Mythos'. Spitzer's podcast focuses on small press weird fiction and information about the Cthulhu Mythos including writers and creatures.
David Heath is a podcaster and blogger who has hosted shows such as Dave's Underground Goat Shenanigans,and Radio Free Oleander. He is currently the co-host of The People's Guide to the Cthulhu Mythos. He lives with his extended family in northern Oregon on a working goat farm.