“Why do you have so many scary games?” asked the younger boy who just turned 6 a few months ago.
I replied, “Because I like them.”
We were looking through the games I have installed on my PlayStation 4. I have a folder created for Horror games, in which I only have The Park, the Resident Evil 7 demo, P.T. (the Silent Hills playable teaser), and Layers Of Fear. I have the original Resident Evil on my PS4 as well, which hasn’t yet been moved into the folder.
One day, the boy wanted to play The Park. He wasn’t deterred by the splash screen which has a chipmunk mascot in the foreground, its eyes glowing an eerie red which stands out from the dark blue and black colors of an amusement park in silhouette in the background. I didn’t want him to play it, because I know what happens when he sees scary things.
“I’ll be brave,” he told me, his voice whimpering.
“Okay,” I sighed, somewhat reluctant.
So we started the game, which opens in the parking lot of an amusement park as it’s closing at sundown. There’s a boy in the back seat of a car, who is the son of the playable character. As the boy’s mother, the player is tasked with retrieving the boy’s teddy bear which was left in the park somewhere. We entered the park, going just past the entrance and onto the escalator. As soon as the screen flashed and the colors were darkened, the boy didn’t want to play the game anymore so I backed out to the PS4 home screen.
I told him everything was fine. I told him that the mother finds the teddy bear for her son, and everything ends happily. I lied. There’s a lot of supernatural things that happen in the amusement park, all of which causes the mother to regret having a kid, and she ends up sacrificing her son as if part of a ritual.
I thought everything was going to be fine, that I had convinced the boy of a happy ending, and that he hadn’t seen enough of the game for it to bother him. Nope, his mom, my friend, complained that I let him play the game at all because he had a nightmare.
I knew that was coming.
His older brother is obsessed with Five Nights At Freddy’s. I had the Toys R Us holiday catalog here at the house in November. Every day, the older boy would flip right to the page with the Five Nights At Freddy’s toys, which fueled his obsession and became all he would talk about. So with his mom’s permission, I ripped out the page from the catalog and put it into her bag of paper to be recycled. Once he noticed the page was missing, he stopped flipping through the catalog.
Without anything obvious in the house to remind him of Five Nights At Freddy’s, I hoped he would forget about the game and move on to something else, at least for the sake of his little brother.
This morning, I woke up to the sounds of the older boy talking to his mom about going to Chuck E Cheese’s for his birthday. That sounded innocent enough, until I heard him mention Freddy Fazbear’s. At one point, he walked away from her and towards me, and I heard him sigh and say something about adding it to his bucket list.
What on Earth would make him think that Freddy Fazbear’s is a real place? More importantly, who would go to a place where the animatronics come after you and attack?
I searched online, and I found a somewhat convincing Facebook page. Thankfully it said that Freddy Fazbear’s was permanently closed. I found an online menu on another site, where all the food was sold out, the items were ridiculously overpriced (as in, overpriced so as to be ridiculous), and the descriptions of the food items were far from professional. Someone, either the game creators or the fanbase, put some time and effort into making those pages so I have to applaud their efforts. However, even though I know it’s all in fun, there is still the issue of a kid who thinks there’s really a Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza and it makes it harder to convince him otherwise.
Silent Hill doesn’t exist, but it’s said that the game was inspired by Centralia, Pennsylvania and its ever-burning underground coal mine. I wouldn’t mind visiting Centralia, but I don’t want to be in Silent Hill as it tends to be a personal Hell for murderers and really selfish individuals. I wouldn’t mind if I walked in to Silent Hill 3 and was Heather, because she has something incredible inside of her that’s needed for the sake of the town’s survival, in a sense.
Fatal Frame is based on the idea of spirit photography. While I think it would be fun (and a bit creepy) to capture a ghost in a picture, I don’t want to think it’s possible to be attacked by ghosts and that I’d need a camera for my safety.
I do like horror games. I don’t like resource management games with jump scares, though. I like horror games that make you think, and I like them simply because they’re games. So thankfully we can’t go to Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza, because then it wouldn’t be a game.
It would be a nightmare. For the younger boy.