the international journal of computer game research volume 3, issue 1
may 2003
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Diane Carr is researching an AHRB funded two-year project titled "Textuality in Video Games: Interactivity, Narrative Space and Role Play" at the Institute of Education, University of London.

Play Dead

Genre and Affect in Silent Hill and Planescape Torment


by Diane Carr


Both Planescape Torment (Interplay 1999) and Silent Hill (Konami 1999) feature zombie assailants, violent confrontation, exploration, peril and death. But Planescape Torment and Silent Hill belong to different genres, and they employ different strategies in their bid to generate generically appropriate affect. Planescape Torment offers its players intersecting worlds, bizarre creatures, amnesia, gore and questing. It's a fantasy roleplaying game (RPG), and its meandering structure enhances its capacity to honour its generic roots. Silent Hill is a 3D survival horror game. The success of the Silent Hill series is a result of its capacity to frighten its users. [1]

Each of these games uses a navigational orientation that aids and abets its generic intent; each proposes goals and gameplay that nurtures a particular affect.  The avatars, Harry in Silent Hill, and The Nameless One in Planescape Torment, perform differently for their players, and the relationship of each avatar to the worlds they infiltrate on our behalf is another factor to consider in relation to the games' generic intentions.


Planescape Torment and Silent Hill

Planescape Torment opens as the avatar/protagonist, The Nameless One, regains consciousness in a grim mortuary. Zombie morticians lurch from slab to slab carving up corpses and trailing dirty bandages. It looks like a scene from a horror movie, but Planescape Torment aims to intrigue, rather than frighten. The game's rule system is adapted from Advanced Dungeons and Dragons (TSR 1980s). Accordingly it makes it a feature of its avatar's construction: playing with The Nameless One's alignment, inventory and professional skills are central aspects of the game. The Nameless one is a mutilated, immortal amnesiac. The first clues about his identity are read to him from the tattoos on his own back, by a floating skull named Mort. Planescape Torment is set in Sigil, the City of Doors, where unpredictable portals link to multiple worlds. Its monsters are grotesque rather than scary, and it revels in the strange and smelly. It is a freak show, a long story, a zoo, and a cabinet of talkative curiosities. Progress through the game is reflective and responsive. The drive towards resolution is diverted to cyclical, scenic detours. Even letting the avatar get 'killed' is a valid strategy. He is immortal, but the shock can shake loose new fragments of memory, and as long as he is not incinerated or eaten, he just wakes up back at the mortuary. Quests and sub-quests are so numerous that the avatar carries a journal that is automatically updated to help the player keep track. Game-generated teammates join the protagonist avatar, and each carries an inventory bulging with complicated artifacts and weapons. Tools can be identified, magic tattoos purchased and charms deciphered. Its pleasures are centrifugal, scattered and varied like its goals. Its avatar mutates in response to a player's prerogative, and continues to alter during play.[2]

The survival horror game Silent Hill is comparatively tense, sparse and linear. It is monoglossic, and single minded. The protagonist Harry wakes up after a car crash in a small North American town, and finds that his young daughter has disappeared from the passenger seat. He sets off into the fog, calling for her. He stumbles across bloodstained alleys, zombie bats, skinless dogs and chasms where the road out of town used to be. His daughter, Cheryl, is presumed to be in some kind of horrible danger. Most of the town's inhabitants have already been either wiped out, or changed into groaning, homicidal undead. Whereas Planescape Torment features "adventuring" music, Silent Hill uses suggestive and worrisome noises like footsteps, wing beats, bad plumbing. Harry carries a disconcerting radio that cracks with squeaky static when monsters are around. As Jonathan Ree has pointed out, spooky noises are an excellent way to give us the creeps as "the spatial indeterminacy of sound means that auditory illusion can be even more disconcerting than either optical or visual ones" (Ree, 1999). Silent Hill wants its players to be frightened, and the sounds of the gameworld move into our own space.

Silent Hill is sequential, its goals are clear: stay alive, fight off assailants, penetrate the next space and locate Cheryl.  While the game-space of Silent Hill is available to the player in three dimensions, the clues, keys and puzzles all lead in a particular direction: forward.  There is not much dialogue, and that happens in cut scenes. There is little onscreen text. The menu is simple, and resources such as medicine and ammunition are self-explanatory and rationed. The avatar, Harry, is ready-made. He accumulates some accessories and weapons but as he does not really grow in strength or experience, it is up to the player to accumulate skills. Silent Hill favors syntagmatic causality over descriptive explication. Its distinct chain of puzzle solving and conditional progression enable it to instigate and maintain pace and tension, and so fuel its unnerving visions of death and possession.


Paths and Mazes

In Hamlet on the Holodeck Janet Murray describes two models of spatial navigation in interactive texts: "Electronic environments offer the pleasure of orienteering in two very different configurations, each of which carries its own narrative power: the solvable maze and the tangled rhizome" (Murray, 2000).  Adventuring in the maze labyrinth involves conditional progression towards an exit or resolution, whereas in the rhizomic environment exploration and wandering are a priority, and no particular direction could be considered as more desirable than any other.  The concept of the rhizome is drawn from the work of Deleuze and Guattari and describes the kind of tuber root system that, like a potato, can sprout in any direction. While there is some question as to whether a game (if it has goals and parameters) can really be a rhizome, it is worth considering the two models in relation to the different pleasures these games offer their players. I am interested in the way each of the games lures a player into skating over its possibilities. I am not claiming that either game necessarily epitomizes the models of orientation proposed by Murray, or that each game exclusively uses only one or other of the models (it would not be difficult to find maze elements in Planescape Torment, or rhizomic qualities in Silent Hill).  My point is rather that the games seek to generate different affect, and they effectively exploit alternate models to achieve that end.  

Silent Hill is, in Murray's terms, more maze-like than Planescape Torment. In Silent Hill, players are directed to proceed to particular locations, in a certain order, to solve puzzles and unlock the next phase of the game. Planescape Torment still has conditional progression, but it mixes and accumulates goals in a less orderly fashion. In this particular context, the designation rhizome or maze has no value attached, in either case the structure serves the game.  These paths are created in the wake of the player, but the player is responding to stimulus from the game. Each of these games deploys a model of spatial navigation that promotes a certain style of play. Planescape Torment is an exploratory, fantasy RPG with themes of lost memory and fragmented histories. It sends its multi-tasking players in rhizomic circles, deviations and side-quests.  One player's route through the game could differ quite dramatically from that taken by another player. The 3D horror game Silent Hill is comparatively maze-like: progress is more conditional, and incidents more overtly sequenced. Paths may branch (there is more than one possible ending) but resolution maintains a tidal pull on the player.  Silent Hill is a horror game, it aims for intensity, tension and fright, and its ability to generate such affect is fuelled by its more directed gameplay.[3]

Meeting an NPC in Planescape Torment often involves reading a description of their eyes, their fingers, of what they are wearing, where they come from or how they smell. Details are so prevalent that they act as a kind of magnification. This magnification underlines Planescape Torment's concern with the invented and the fantastic, with perceptual alteration and with strangeness for its own sake. Moving forward through the game leads to further revelations about the avatar's past. The amount of dialogue from the game's inhabitants makes it difficult to empty any space of its potential to offer variety, while undertaking quests will send players repeatedly into locations that keep altering.  Players are encouraged by the game to examine and then re-examine its places and inhabitants. The over-arching quest involves solving the mystery of the amnesiac avatar's past identity, but this goal can only be attained via any number of smaller quests. One outcome of this is that players are distracted from any single directive. Sub-quests might mean that players run about in circles, but all the missions accomplished make possible the accumulation of experience points that will alter an avatar's abilities and powers as they "level up". Progress through the space of the game is concurrent to the progress at the "level" of the avatar, and the two patterns of accumulation remain intimately linked.  This tendency is generically consistent. In most action adventure or horror console games (such as Silent Hill), to ask someone what level they are on, is to ask them what location they have reached. In an RPG, to ask someone what level they are on, is to ask what their avatar's experience rating is.  Experience is a strategic, indexed commodity. 

In Silent Hill confrontations happen in "real time" and Harry has to fight or flee, just to survive. To save a game the player must position the avatar in front of clipboard folders that are found on registration desks or in hallways in different buildings. The locating of save points within the gameworld, as objects, pins time to specific points in space.  Temporality is thus ordered, just as onward spatial progress is conditional. These conditions temper the open qualities of the 3D game space. Silent Hill's mobile "camera" and long corridors associate access with progress and penetration, and while a player could endlessly run around and around the same block, the location would be soon emptied of its potential to divert or surprise. If Harry meets other characters in Silent Hill their dialogue happens in cut scenes, and their conversation is outside of a player's control. Once the monsters have been killed, the locks opened or the puzzles solved, there is nobody to talk to and not a lot to see.  Players are urged to keep moving.

In Silent Hill spaces scope around Harry. As a player you can enter a room, but you can't see it all at once: it feels like somewhere you could become trapped, somewhere that something could sneak up behind you.  The stable, isometric (top-down) perspective of Planescape Torment has arguably less emotive charge, but this perspective lends itself to observation and rummaging. The gameworld lies open to the player's gaze. In Planescape Torment a player does not have to arrive at any particular location to save their game, and pausing a game in order to sort out a strategy, mid-confrontation, is par for the course. Combat in Planescape Torment is not just about survival; it can have various profitable outcomes. A team will gain experience points and booty if they prevail. As the team earns experience points, they are moved through levels of subsequent rank. Their various powers and skills are augmented, and the gameworld alters in return, heightening the ferocity, tenacity or might of the opposition. Meeting with a game generated character in Planescape Torment involves being presented with a range of dialogue options that the player can select from according to strategy, or whim, or curiosity.  The choice of reply will move the dialogue, and any subsequent action, in a particular direction. The non-player character may respond by attacking the avatar, or by offering useful advice, they may reward or initiate a quest, or teach the avatar a particular profession.


Categories and Typologies

It is worth attempting to clarify the differences between Planescape Torment and Silent Hill by applying Espen Aarseth's typology of cybertexts. Aarseth has described text as involving the relaying of information, where information is "a string of signs" (1997). He believes that  "It is useful to distinguish between strings as they appear to readers and strings as they exist in the text, since they may not always be the same" (1997).  Strings as they appear to readers are designated scriptons by Aarseth, while strings that appear in the text, are textons.  Then, the "Mechanism by which scriptons are revealed or generated from textons and presented to the user of the text" is named the traversal function (1997).  Aarseth lists seven variables of the traversal function, but for the sake of brevity I will only be referring to those modes where the two games under discussion appear to most obviously differ: the categories of Dynamics, Determinability, Access and Linking  (for a comprehensive description of all seven variables refer to Aarseth's chapter "Textonomy" in Cybertext).

The Dynamics of the traversal function involves the number and the constancy of the textons and the scriptons present.  Planescape Torment is more dynamic and less static than Silent Hill because of its greater number of goals and quests, and the fact that only some of them are compulsory, as well as due to the complexity of the teams' inventory, mutating avatars and all the possible dialogue options. Both games offer the player choice and options and variables at the scriptonic level, but Planescape Torment has a lot more textons to begin with, and the range and number of scriptonic elements and potential combinations increase exponentially.

The games diverge at the question of Determinability.  Determinability "concerns the stability of the traversal function…In some adventure games, the same response to a given situation will always produce the same result. In other games, random functions (such as the use of dice) make the results unpredictable." (1997)

This is difficult to quantify in relation to the games under consideration, but the two games do position themselves differently in relation to chance. Planescape Torment employs the Advanced Dungeons and Dragons rules, so there are 20-sided dice lurking somewhere in the game engine. The numbers that describe the team members on their statistics screen are, basically, odds. In a confrontation, the strength and armor class and hit points of each opponent and their weapons are rated and the internal dice rolled to determine the outcome. Silent Hill no doubt features its own elements of chance and luck, but it is less overt and more stable. Unless you are particularly inept or unlucky, a repeated action will tend to give the same result. Harry does not particularly change, except he gets weaker if he is wounded, stronger again if he gets medicine. Planescape Torment has more variables, and thus there is more room for instability. 

Aarseth's categories of Access and of Linking are manifested differently in the two games. Access involves the ability by a user to enter a text at any point. Obviously it is controlled in both games (although you can always cheat or use a walkthrough) but as mentioned above, you can save and re-load at any point in Planescape Torment, but only at very specific places in Silent Hill. Links that connect spaces or segments of Planescape Torment are generated via dialogue options. Additionally the use and manipulation of portals (doors from one place to another that defy distance) are an important part of the game. These function as links between different areas, and while they are conditional, they are activated by various magic items, or chance, as well as by action or puzzle solving. As such they are less conditional (or at least less consistent) than those that determine Harry's route through Silent Hill

In this way Aarseth's traversal categories and their variants help with the identification of those factors in each game that shape their different spatial orientations. In each case Silent Hill is found to be more static, more controlled and more determined. These parameters shape the maze labyrinth on which the game hangs. By contrast, the relative openness of Planescape Torment 's traversal mode serves its rhizomic, expansive tendencies.

Silent Hill's tight, maze structure fuels its ability to frighten its users. Silent Hill is able to maintain tension (more or less) throughout because it refuses to be diverted or slowed by elucidation.  The limited justification for the town's trauma is provided in cut scene flashbacks that rely on film reference and horror movie conventions to make their point. This keeps gameplay pared down and fast paced, while emotively loading scenes and incidents via trans-textual shorthand. In one empty domestic interior the soundtrack features a child pleading with her strange and abusive mother. The pair seem trapped replaying a past that sounds part Psycho (Hitchcock 1960) and part Sybil (Petrie, first aired 1977).  The game is set in everyday places - cafes and gas stations, schools and hospitals. The ordinariness and familiarity make it all the more disturbing when things turn nasty.  In "An Introduction to the Modern American horror film" Robin Wood (1997) describes horror as involving "a simple and obvious basic formula … normality is threatened by the Monster" where normality, the monster and the frequently ambivalent relationship between the two, are all variables.  Silent Hill fits Wood's horror formula.  Normality is threatened, trashed, by the monstrous. The eponymous North American town looks commonplace but as Harry helpfully points out to other characters in a cut-scene, "something bizarre's going on." The innocent are imperiled. Hell has eviscerated the town's school and hospital. Harry has to rescue his daughter and oppose the evil haunting Silent Hill.  As Tanya Krzywinska writes in "Hands-On Horror" (2002) "Whatever players do in most horror-based games, they still have to occupy the position of an avatar of good. As a predetermined transcendent force, the moral occult is at work in the way these games channel the player through their labyrinths."  While there are degrees of ambiguity in Silent Hill, this base antithesis of good and evil is never actually undermined.  

Planescape Torment, on the other hand, is not set in a place where "normality" has gone wrong: there was no normality to begin with. Its ghouls and zombies are not agents of perverse disruption or upheaval. Its monsters are indigenous. They are not intruders.  The avatar and his teammates are not fated to restore a particular or dualistic moral order. Planescape Torment draws on Advanced Dungeons and Dragons cosmology, and there is a double axis of "alignment" along the AD&D moral compass.  The positions along one axis range from good to neutral to evil. Values on the other axis range from lawful, through neutral, to chaotic, and relate to the consistency with which a character acts. The moral alignment of the avatar in Planescape Torment shifts in response to input from the player, and shapes how NPC's respond to The Nameless One.[4]


The Uncanny, The Double and The Avatar

A player's trajectory through each game is influenced by promised rewards, goals, clues and diversions. Silent Hill intends to scare its players, and its controlling, maze-style parameters enable it to establish and maintain tension.  Planescape Torment aims to provide its players with a sense that they are excavating a history (the avatar's forgotten past) while exploring, more or less at will, a vast and bizarre invention. Its rhizomic elements assist in this. In each case spatial factors facilitate a particular affect that is aligned with the game's generic intent. And, in each case the spaces are accessed with an avatar. What follows is a speculative consideration of how the avatars in each of these games might serve the text's intentions.  

Film phenomenologists have used a Freudian version of the uncanny and the double to explore the carnal sensations generated by bodies in motion on film, and the instants of recognition they generate (Stern, 1997).  Recognition and strangeness called forth by the screened image of a body in motion snag our attention, throwing us between the unfamiliar, and ourselves. Given the role performed by avatars it is arguable that any uncanny resonance potentially generated while we watch a body move on film is amplified when, as players, we operate and navigate avatars. We use avatars as embodiments or vehicles, as our agents in the gameworld.  The player hits a button; the avatar jumps, somersaults or flicks a switch. Every player, surely, has found themselves flinching when their avatar bangs their head, has felt themselves lean over with pseudo-centrifugal forces, or felt their stomach lurch when their avatar plunges over a cliff. Avatars are our emissaries and, at least to a degree, our doubles. [5] 

 Freud described two stages of the double, as follows:

"The double was originally an insurance against the destruction of the ego ... such ideas ... have sprung ... from the primary narcissism which dominates the mind of the child ... but when this stage has been surmounted, the 'double' reverses its aspect. From having been an assurance of immortality, it becomes the uncanny harbinger of death" (1997)

Unless the arrival of one manifestation of the double in a text necessarily signals the obsolescence of the earlier phase, I'd suspect that both the anti-death and the deadly double are potentially present in figurative computer games. It seems feasible, given that computer games in general display such a preoccupation with survival, attack, resurrection, fatal injury and repetition. Of course there is no reason to reduce the experience of a game to any single dynamic or lure, or to assume that any aspect of the pleasures on offer has the upper hand.  Similarly perhaps there is no reason to expect that the presence of a buffering double in a game would necessarily rule out the presence of the threatening or uncanny double.  While some of the doubling in Planescape Torment might be uncanny, I suspect that the buffer, anti-death double is the primary one at play in this game, and perhaps even in RPGs in general.  In RPGs, the double is an ally.

Planescape Torment features a top-down perspective that maintains a constant distance between you, as player, and your avatar. The avatar crosses, rather than penetrates, the space. Players assemble the avatar from a series of templates and options, and are encouraged by the game to feel responsible for the avatar's growth and fate. When playing, you make choices about The Nameless One's construction: his profession, skills, identity and alignment. The manner in which an avatar develops is intended to reflect your style of play: "throughout the game your character adapts to fit your own personal gaming style" (from the game's manual, Interplay: 1999). Your avatar acts for you, and evolves in a manner that reflects your decisions.  The isometric perspective and the assembled nature of the avatar both act to defuse aspects of player-avatar symbiosis. In addition to your avatar, you gather a troupe of companions.  These teammates are drawn from the (ready-made) candidates that the game presents to you as you proceed. Once they join your team, they are under your control. Visually and demographically (i.e. caste, profession, species) your team members may not resemble each other, but you have access to each of their resources and will, as a strategic necessity, rifle through the various inventories of each character, assigning and reassigning their stuff to other team members as you see fit. You  coordinate their actions. They are armed by you and directed by you, and they address your avatar as their leader. Despite their apparent differences, from the perspective of the inventory screen, and character as "unit," the characters resemble each other.  Each serves you and operates for you. Thus the double (or the multiple) in RPGs is tamed via the character menus, reduced to stencils that make literal the terms of a character's presence and potentials.  Each team member is a known quantity, a resource, and each is further assurance against the enemy. [6]

By contrast, the threatening or uncanny double seems to hold sway in over-the-shoulder 3D games like Silent Hill. The uncanny aspect of the relationship between player and avatar is heightened by the use of them as vehicles through a 3D game space: their motion is a literal and mobile register of our access. The 3D avatar has a particular relationship to the screen: as embodied agents they actually penetrate into spaces on a player's behalf. They generate a depth charge, a greater degree of uncanny resonance. In RPGs players can fiddle with the avatars' vital statistics, but the 3D or console avatar is typically less accessible, most are comparatively sealed and prefabricated.  Perhaps the uncanny halo on such avatars generates our appetite for their extreme physical capabilities. As players we need their acrobatics or their violence in order to expiate our anxiety around the doubling. Our anxiety fuels an affect cycle that is then harnessed to the avatar in a feedback loop of pleasurable expiation. 

But not all 3D games feature super-powered avatars, spring loaded by uncanny fallout and armed to expiate. Silent Hill's protagonist, Harry, is resoundingly normal. He's a regular guy and an average shot. He doesn't know kung fu. He even trips over on his way down stairs. Perhaps this in turn means that the game recoups the uncanny, and rebinds it to the scary bits. The doubling between player and avatar in Silent Hill is not channeled and purged via a superhuman avatar. It remains disconcertingly present, Freud's "harbinger of death" shadows us, and empowers the game's dark, predatory forces.



Planescape Torment is so encyclopaedic that the parameters of the game, its aims and its player's goals, remain dispersed or vague.  Players move from description to situation, to negotiation and more description, rather than from kill to kill, or from space to new space. Its limits are elusive. Players level up, accumulating details, companions, journals, spell books and complicated charms. Even small choices have multiple and unpredictable results, leading players to incidents, to confrontations or to nothing much. The game resists resolution or even comprehension. A rambling text like Planescape Torment bounces when you try and nail it down, it resists totalisation. It has its moments of  "rush" and of confrontation, but it wants to be savoured, wandered through, in the company of armed companions. While Planescape Torment refuses to be hurried, the nerve-wracking Silent Hill urges the player from point to point, puzzle to solution, and onwards to a resolution. It can be completed and charted, at least to a degree. Silent Hill aims at a particular intensity and pace. It wants to frighten its players, and it succeeds by maintaining a more directed, linear style of gameplay. Planescape Torment and Silent Hill have different intentions. Both of the games use the model of spatial navigation (rhizomic or maze, respectively) that serves its generic agenda, and each uses an avatar that responds to its world, and its players, in a manner that amplifies the game's own particular brand of pleasure.



[1] Planescape Torment is a single player PC game set in TSR's Planescape campaign setting.  It made PCZone's list of the best RPGs ever (July 2002, issue number 117).  Silent Hill was originally a PlayStation game, for reviews see Zombie Girls Net

(accessed Feb 2003), where one zombie girl describes the game as "one of the most enjoyable, and truly frightening, games to have come out in a long time."  See screenshots of Harry's enemies at one of the features at  For screenshots of Planescape Torment try Game Banshee at  (sites accessed February 2003).

[2] Computer RPGs have adopted live-action RPGs rules, but the shift from tabletop to computer changes the game experience completely. Live action RPGs already have a successful and scare-inducing horror sub-genre of their own. Readers of Valkyrie; The Independent Role Playing Game Magazine voted Call of Cthulhu (Wizards of the Coast) their favourite game, and that's a game based on the horror novels of H.P Lovecraft  (issue 22 page 12)

[3] In Deleuze and Guattari's (1988) version, rhizomes are compared to trees (or non-genealogical maps, to genealogical tracings). There is not an exact correlation between Murray's rhizome and maze comparison, and Deleuze and Guattari's rhizome and arboreal comparison. It's easy to compare ginger roots to trees, because each intuitively connotes directions, routes and processes. I find it more difficult to compare rhizomes to labyrinths, because a rhizome is an organism distinguished by its own route/root system, whereas a labyrinth is a place: it has no "direction" until somebody enters it. The same might be said of a computer game, but it is more accurate to say that player and game are complicit in marking out these trails.

[4] Other generic factors that distinguish Silent Hill's taut structure from Planescape Torment's more dispersed pleasures include:  In Silent Hill the gameworld fills the screen, in Planescape Torment the screen is bordered by numerous icons and menu shortcuts. Harry hits his assailants when the player hits their action button, in Planescape Torment the single action of a player triggers "rounds" of action during a combat sequence. Planescape Torment is story-driven, and introduces characters in a manner reminiscent of Todorov's 'Narrative-Men': "a new character invariably involves…a new story, the one which explains the "now I am here" of the new character…A second story is enclosed within the first; this device is called embedding." (1977)

[5] Re player/avatar "identification": It's usual, in my experience, for conversations about games to involve pronoun juggling ("I went in the cave and she got eaten") and games often address the avatar and the player with an inclusive "you." I have drawn on cinematic phenomenology when pondering the relationship between avatar and player, but I am not relying on models of cinematic identification. An "ergodic identification" would have to base itself on motor activity, rather than stillness or regression before the screen. For this reason alone it could be problematic to import theories of cinematic identification to games.

[6] Freud associates the reassuring double, the "assurance of immortality" (1997) with narcissism.  Kristeva (1989) has described the narcissist as a subject expelled from the realm of the maternal but resisting the Oedipal orders, or "law" on offer.  This yearning after an alternative state chimes with the inventive tendencies of Fantasy in general, including Planescape Torment.

This paper is an early outcome from the Textuality in Video Games project at the Institute of Education, University of London:



Aarseth Espen 1997  Cybertext Maryland, John Hopkins University Press

Deleuze, Gilles and Felix Guattari 1988 A Thousand Plateaus: capitalism and schizophrenia London, Athlone

Freud Sigmund  1997 "Classic psychoanalytic texts" Reading 28.3. "The Uncanny" Reading Popular Narrative; A Source Book Bob Ashley (ed.) London and Washington, Leicester University Press, Revised edition.

Graham Paula 1997 "New Perspectives on Gender in the Visual Order" Chapter Two Lesbian Subculture and Popular Cinema, online at (accessed Feb 03)

Kristeva Julia 1989 Black Sun; Depression and Melancholia (trans. Leon S Roudiez) New York, Columbia University Press

Krzywinska Tanya 2002  "Hands-On Horror" ScreenPlay (eds Tanya Krzywinksa, Geoff King) London Wallflower Press

Murray Janet H 2000 Hamlet on the Holodeck; The Future of Narrative in Cyberspace Cambridge MA MIT Press  (3rd printing) 

PCZone July 2002 issue no.117

Ree Jonathan 1999 I See a Voice; A Philosophical History of Language, Deafness and the Senses

London Harper Collins Publishers

Stern Lesley 1997 "I Think, Sebastian, Therefore ...I Somersault" from the Australian Humanities Review, online at

Todorov Tzvetan 1977 The Poetics of Prose (trans. Richard Howard) Oxford Blackwell

Valkyrie; The Independent Role Playing Game Magazine Issue 22 Partizan Press

Wood Robin 1997 "An Introduction to the modern American horror film" (1984) Excerpt from Reading Popular Narrative; A Source Book Bob Ashley (ed.) London and Washington; Leicester University Press.



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