Fear In Gaming: The Horror vs The Horrible Truth

Are you afraid of the dark? Were you afraid of the dark as a kid? My fear of the darkness came from the Boogeyman and I can openly blame my mom for that. I would constantly jump out of my bed and attempt to slip into hers at all hours of the night. One night she told me the Boogeyman would grab me, sooooooooooooooooooooooooooo I stopped jumping out of bed so much. If I did get out of bed for anything at night, I ran like the wind down the hallways and towards the nearest light. With the Boogeyman being in my closet or under my bed, who knows what would happen if he got me. Oh childhood……

There is a version of the Boogeyman in many cultures and the whole ruse is used to generate fear. The Boogeyman is used by parents to make kids kick little bad habits such as sucking thumbs, jumping on beds, and for me who liked to get out of bed and roam about. I have heard of the Boogeyman tickling kids feet or leaving a mark on to remember it’s presence. Hardly any of the lore is terrifying, but a parent could implant some visually troubling images into a child’s imagination. So, what happens if the Boogeyman catches you?

Endangered Orphans of Condyle Cove is a cartoony take on the Boogeyman character. The picture you see here is not exactly the set up for normal game play.

Boogey Boogey Boogey

Endangered Orphans of Condyle Cove by Certifiable Studios is a heavily thematic game where Orphans are trying to evade the grasp of the Boogeyman. From the dark alley look of the Location cards to the creepy design of the Option cards, Endangered Orphans plays on fear of the Boogeyman in a somewhat cartoony way. When a player becomes a little desperate for survival, them may be forced to head to the Kiddie Corner, where the Boogeyman resides. Pulling the one Boogeyman leads to………death. Your Orphan gets eaten and the game goes on. If your Orphan runs out of options (Option Cards), you are lead away by the Boogeyman…….Once again, death. Every card sells you on the desperation of the game and the false sense safety you get from turn to turn. Someone has to get eaten….that’s how the game works. I’m a huge fan of Endagered Orphans of Condyle Cove for its lighter take on a pretty dark idea. My only downside is I see my version of the Boogeyman!


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The Horrible Truth

Our nations history has some terribly grim moments that leaves scars we still feel today. The real horror of witch lore in the US comes from a time where humans acted more like savages and generated a fear to push their agendas at the expense of others lives. The Salem Witch Trials of 1692 represented a time where irrational thoughts, religion, public shaming, ignorance, greed, and lust for power were chose over common sense. In 1692, two girls under the watch of a slave caregiver, Tituba, where shown a trick. Tituba cracked an egg white into a glass of water. She told them them if they looked closely they could see the image of their future husband forming in the egg white glass of water. Apparently, one kid saw a coffin and suddenly the two kids went crazy. They began to behave like animals and screamed for no reason. Since they could not be diagnosed medically, the only explanation was witchcraft…..think about that for a minute. The two girls affected by “witchcraft ” were know as The Afflicted.

One of the most thematic and historically accurate games I have ever played. I can easily recommend this to anyone.

Affliction: Salem 1692 by DPH Games Inc. does not shy away from this bloodstained event in history. In the game you play as either Salem Town or Salem Village. The Salem Townsfolk represented a threat to the Puritan ways, on the outskirts of Salem Village. The gameplay is built around convincing the Magistrate, Judge, or Governor to save your certain Colonists from being accused of witchcraft. During the game you will struggle with shifting blame away from you side and turn the tables to have others arrested. You build a “Circle” of Colonists who support your cause and you can use their influence to gain more power.  The bigger goal is to get the other players major characters arrested. The game ends at the turning point of the Salem Witch Trials in 1693. Mary Spencer Hill was accused of witchcraft, but refuted her charges and recited the Lords Prayer during her trial to prove her innocence. She was pardoned for her crimes, but still held in jail and there is no evidence of her actual cause of death. Increase Mather wrote Cases of Conscious in 1962, which sort of advocated for the trials, but completely rejected the validity of “Spectral Evidence.” In the game, you actually use Spectral Evidence tokens to shut down the abilities of the Colonists in the opposing player’s circle. If you purchase the game, which I suggest you do, take time to read the separate manual of history during the trials. Reading about people accusing others just for financial reasons, settling family grudges, or to take others out of power is unsettling. People were called witches for things like staring at others and making them feel weird or just by calling the trials a complete farce, would possibly get you accused and….. you know. Women were stripped of clothing to check for moles or birthmarks, which were apparently signs of witchcraft? I’ll leave it there because sometimes reading too much of how terrible people can be is sort of a bummer. Just remember 20 women, men, and children were executed or jailed because of the selfish and ignorant motive of people.


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I’m not sure why we are attracted to horror themes. For myself, I seek out the true stories in history behind the cutesy and not so cutesy true origins of some of the beasts we have created. It’s all available if you choose to find it or you can enjoy the lighter side and have the same fun during a board game night. There is always fun in playing out heavily thematic darker themed game versus a game that’s a little closer to the historic truth. I hope I didn’t lose you by posting something like this. I wanted to step out of the box because Halloween is my favorite holiday. If you like what you read today or have questions, please comment below. If you would like to stay in touch on what’s going on the site, please give me a follow on twitter (@jambapg) or my blog.  Thank you for your time and Happy Halloween.

What kind of games scare you?

Do you play games with the light low or by candlelight to see a creepy mood?


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