Stories Untold is an indie game created by No Code that features four short horror experiences. I focused on The House Abandon, in which the player plays a text-based adventure game about an abandoned house on an old PC. It is essential that the player can see and hear their immediate surroundings, as the game eventually restarts and actions the player takes in the game begin to happen within the house the player is in. The horror of the game comes from the duality of the player character – is the player character the one sitting in front of the computer screen? Or is the player character the one being controlled in the text adventure? The text adventure player character encounters the player character sitting in front of the computer, and the uncertainty of who the player is actually controlling gives the player a strong sense of unease.
I chose to present this game in class because it plays with perspective in an interesting way. We often think of the player character as an extension of ourselves, our way of interacting with the game world, our lens through which we view the game. But when a character in a game like The House Abandon has to play a game themselves, who really is the player character? Who is the player really controlling? The House Abandon asks this question, and forces the player to confront their expectations about perspective in games.