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  • Gothic and the Arts - Gaming Chapter

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Gothic and Videogames: Playing with Fear in the Darkness

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/Proceedings - With ISBN/ISSNChapter

Publication date1/09/2019
Host publicationThe Edinbugh Companion to Gothic and the Arts
EditorsDavid Punter
Place of PublicationEdinburgh
PublisherEdinburgh University Press
Number of pages10
ISBN (electronic)9781474432382
ISBN (print)9781474432351
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Publication series

NameEdinburgh Companions to Literature and the Humanities


Gothic and Gaming
The Gothic, as Catherine Spooner asserts, has never been restricted to books (2007, p. 195), and it is not surprising that the Gothic is a source of much inspiration for new media; Gothic tropes and elements frequently appear in a variety of videogames, including Doom (id Software, 1993) as Fred Botting (2002) argues, and more recently, the Portal franchise (Valve, 2007-2011)which Ewan Kirkland considers to have a ‘distinctly Gothic theme and tone’ (2014). Gothicism can be seen in the settings, aesthetics, and narratives of many of the videogames released every year and Gothic characters are particularly suited to videogames—both as protagonists and enemies—with vampires, zombies, and ghosts found throughout the mediums history.
Beginning with a brief history and overview of Gothic in videogames, the chapter goes on to ask how this medium enters into the Gothic tradition, and using a selection of examples, rather than being limited to a single case study, will provide an overview of the Gothic as it occurs across the medium. Videogames addressed will include the Doom franchise, Portal, the Silent Hill franchise, the Resident Evil franchise, Alan Wake, and Mad Max.