Fantasy, horror and games panel in Tracon V

The fifth fantasy and anime (visibly also cosplay) convention of Tampere, Tracon, took place last weekend in Tampere Hall. I took part as the chair to the “Fantasy, Horror and Games panel”, and even while we ended up having half the time we had been originally promised by organisers, at least we managed to evoke some essential questions on the subject matter, like:

  • Is fantastic focused on the ‘sense of wonder’, whether the art form is literature, cinema, games, or something else?
  • If we are talking about horror, is the key in the management of moods, or emotions: on the careful evocation of suspense, thrill, terror, horror, revulsion (to adapt Stephen King here)?
  • As contrasted to narratively controlled horror and fantasy, is the player freedom in games more likely to lead into instrumental, problem-solving style of player attitudes, rather than to emotional involvement with the fiction?
  • In contrast, there is the alternative: that player involvement while acting within the game’s reality is likely to lead in deeper — or different kind of — involvement or immersion than narrative fiction?

There were many more interesting topics that our panelists discussed, many only briefly, before the panel was closed. Thanks to: Jaakko Koivula, Nestori Lehtonen, Mixu Lauronen, Markku Soikkeli, and Jukka Särkijärvi.

Author: frans

Professor of Information Studies and Interactive Media, esp. Digital Culture and Game Studies in the University of Tampere, Finland.

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