Date of Award
Literary scholars have recently expanded their focus to include emerging media such as video games as literary texts. In particular, these scholars study how video games create an immersive experience with active agency for players. However, there has been little study of horror video games in this rapidly growing line of inquiry. Accordingly, this paper presents a feminist, trauma-informed reading on the horror video game Silent Hill (1999), with further consideration of the subsequent American film adaptation Silent Hill (2006). This exploration outlines the ways by which trauma organizes an active experience for players. In doing so, this examination applies Cathy Caruth’s foundational theory of how trauma manifests in literature as something unknown, as well as how literature attempts to explore this unknown terrain. I conclude that the film adaptation attempts to but does not successfully encapsulate a traumatic experience in the immersive way the original game does, given the player’s active role in exploring trauma. In support of this argument, the paper outlines how involving the player in puzzle-solving and the symbolism of the landscape enable the game to mimic traumatic experiences and create a connection between the player and the game’s characters not possible in the medium of film.
Miller, BrookLyn, "Monstrous Women in the Monstrous Wonderland: An Exploration of Abjection and Trauma in the Silent Hill Franchise" (2022). HON 499 Honors Thesis or Creative Project. 18.