Friday Games: Honey you do not want to go in there

IbWe’re switching the Friday Games format for Hallowmas! We’ll be playing Ib, a creepy adventure game built in RPG Maker 2000 that exploits JRPG aesthetics to create innovative visual horror, playing on the flatness of the isometric plane and the ambiguity of written voice to make the player question what is real or not.

We’ll meet at 4pm ET in MIT room 26-153 as usual. The twist this week is that we’ll run the game in an adjacent room, where one person will play with headphones on and lights off to experience some really good scares while trying to make good decisions in increasingly troubling situations. Every ten minutes, we’ll switch players.

Instead of laughing at the player’s fright, everyone in the lab will treat both the main character and the player as one actor: a horror fiction protagonist walking right into worse and worse situations. We’ll stream just the game screen and audio to the lounge, where the rest of us will snark away on camera and provide helpful advice that no one will heed, just as an audience might in a horror movie marathon. We’ll broadcast both the game and the audience reactions on our TwitchTV stream, and we hope it proves to be an entertaining night!

A shoutout to the fine folks at GaymeBar who came up with this awesome, terrible idea.

Philip Tan is the creative director for the MIT Game Lab. He teaches CMS.608 Game Design and CMS.611J/6.073J Creating Video Games at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. For the past 6 years, he was the executive director for the US operations of the Singapore-MIT GAMBIT Game Lab, a game research initiative. He complements a Master's degree in Comparative Media Studies with work in Boston's School of Museum of Fine Arts, the MIT Media Lab, WMBR 88.1FM and the MIT Assassins' Guild, the latter awarding him the title of "Master Assassin" for his live-action roleplaying game designs. He also founded a DJ crew at MIT.

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