Playing with Fear in Media Fictions – Film, TV, computer games, Haunted Houses and other social games



This elective course explores how we play with fear in fiction entertainment. The aim is to understand fear in praxis and in theory, in its sensory expression and as cognitive thought. Senses and thoughts are, of course, related. We want to undertand what fear as a feeling and how it is used in the so–called magic circle of play. Play is voluntary.

The course examines fear as a feeling and as a narrative, which is orchestrated by media prodicers as a game/story/other kind of engagement. We will examine several types of media, among them movies, television shows, computer games, haunted houses, and zombie runs or other real-life plaing (social games using fear, e.g. for company employees). The participants will choose which types of fear media we will examine.

The elective course combines emotion studies, affect studies, aesthetic analysis (hermeneutic analysis) with theories about play and games. These play theories will draw classical games (Caillois, Sutton-Smith), sociology (Apter, Kerr) and from LARP games (Montola). Course participants and teacher choose the fear examples together. The aim is to invite guest speakers who work in praxis with producing fear in various media.
Target groupMaster
ECTS credits10 ECTS