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Posted by Gina Freitag
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Player 1, Profile: Benjamin Rivers

We’re gearing up for our next event on April 13th! Co-hosts Evan Millar (Rue Morgue games editor) and Kaitlin Tremblay (Dames Making Games) will be discussing the dark side of the games industry with a look at its horror history to present in “Pixels ‘n Peril” (tickets available now!).

In the meantime, meet some of the local players in the games industry here in Toronto, and find out what game scares they’re haunted by.

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Meet: Benjamin Rivers, game developer

What’s your preferred system/platform?
The Sega CD — no, really, that thing was (and still is) amazing.

What first drew you to horror video games?
The thrill of having active involvement made them so much more intimate than film or books, and since you’re in control, you can’t look away! The first Resident Evil made me realize horror games could be as impactful as film, and the first Silent Hill cemented that they could be even better.

Tell us a bit about a game/project you recently worked on.
I’m currently wrapping up our newest horror game, Worse Than Death! It’s a scary, emotional thriller about a high school reunion that goes horribly wrong, and we call it “X-Files meets Riverdale.” It’s kind of campy, scary in a not-subtle way, and dark as all hell.

What’s your favourite horror video game, and why?
Silent Hill 2, because of how the game secretly uses the player’s actions to determine the outcome. It uses every square inch of its mechanics and user interface for something, but does so in a way that, as a player, you don’t notice.

Who is your favourite horror video game character, and why?
Lisa from the first Silent Hill. She’s a tragic character who becomes increasingly important to the player’s story, but the ultimate revelation of what she is haunted me for weeks.

What horror video game(s) has/have the most effective scares?
For subtle, psychological stuff, you can’t beat the first two Silent Hill games and the later entry, Silent Hill: Shattered Memories. For classic, haunted-house horror, I think the original Fatal Frame is still top of the heap; it evokes so much with so little, comparatively, and has a tight, focused story that creeps at every turn.

What horror video game are you currently playing?
Other than playing Worse Than Death for testing, I just completed every single English-language Fatal Frame title, as well as the magnificent Detention. (I went through about two dozen horror games in the past year or so for research — I’ll never sleep again!)

Where can people follow you/your work online?
I’m active on Twitter (@benjaminrivers) and all of my projects, talks, etc. are available at http://www.benjaminrivers.com



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