Why it's Better to be Scared with Friends

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For the past three years, it’s been a tradition in my group of friends to hold a “Scary Game Night” every so often. Setting aside a whole evening that often lasts until the early hours of the next day, we spend the night snacking and screaming, in fear and delight, as we watched horrors unfold on the television screen.

While many people may not enjoy being scared, there are plenty that do (myself included). The science of fright delves into this, and the gist is that fear can be an enjoyable experience depending on the context. Purposefully playing horror games with the intent of being scared is very different than having the worry of making it to work on time because you overslept.

It is interesting to note, however, that I cannot handle playing any game that may be considered even somewhat scary when by myself. I could barely handle playing the Resident Evil 2 demo that was featured at New York City Comic Con without running from the room. As a result, I gather my friends to cram themselves in my living room and force Matt O. to play whatever game is tickling our horror bone.

So why is it so much more fun to be scared with your friends than it is by yourself? As we often emphasize here at P1P, being a gamer means being a part of a community. Watching your friend traverse down a dark, digital hallway as you cower behind a pillow is a communal experience as well; you’re all feeling the same trepidation as you wait for something to jump out and grab you. Watching horror games on the streaming platform Twitch is almost as fun; you’re able to share in the same terrifying moments with the person physically playing the game.

The next time you’re feeling an itch to get spooked, I’d recommend grabbing some friends to partake in your journey.

Do you have any particular horror games you like to play with friends? What’s your favorite horror game? Leave us a comment below or a voicemail at (347) 509-5620.