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    Timelines – Survival Horror Video Games

    Inception – The ’80s-Early ’90s

    The roots of survival horror games can be traced back to the early ’80s with the advent of 3D monster maze games like “3D Monster Maze” (1981). However, the actual inception of the genre is generally attributed to Infogrames’ “Alone in the Dark” (1992), which introduced fixed cinematic camera angles providing an immersive horror experience.

    Resident Evil – 1996

    Capcom’s “Resident Evil” (1996) popularized the survival horror genre by injecting unique narrative layers into the game-playing experiences. It introduced a scary mansion infested with zombies and focused on tension, puzzle-solving, and resource management. Resident Evil’s innovative gameplay and adrenaline-inducing horror elements set a successful blueprint for many future survival horror games.

    Silent Hill – 1999

    Konami’s “Silent Hill” (1999) marked another milestone by presenting psychological horror themes, foregrounding an eerie atmosphere, complex storytelling, and character development, placing it as a significant contrast to the action-oriented Resident Evil series.

    Fatal Frame – Early 2000s

    “Fatal Frame” (2001) by Tecmo introduced the idea of spiritual beings as adversaries. The novelty of a camera as the main defensive tool and the highly emotional storyline revolutionized the genre, introducing it to more cinematic and narrative-heavy interpretations.

    Dead Space Series – Late 2000s

    Continuing the narrative-heavy approach, EA’s “Dead Space” (2008) added a refreshing sci-fi twist to the survival horror genre. The players found themselves stuck in space, fighting grotesque creatures called ‘Necromorphs,’ symbolizing a clear shift from supernatural to more scientific horror experiences.

    P.T. & Outlast – 2010s

    The 2010s saw a peak in the popularity of survival horror games with titles like “Outlast” (2013) and “P.T.” (2014). These games intensified the sense of vulnerability and dread by designing the gameplay around fleeing and hiding rather than fighting, marking the ‘hide-and-seek’ trend in the genre.

    Virtual Reality – Late 2010s-Present

    In recent years, the genre has entered a new frontier with the rise of virtual reality (VR) games. Titles like “Resident Evil 7: Biohazard” (2017) made effective use of VR technology, essentially placing players directly into the horror scenario, adding a personal and intense layer of horror immersion.