It turns out the only way to get me to play a horror game is if it’s also a personality quiz.
I grew up reading Seventeen magazine exclusively to do the quizzes. Put me in front of a personality quiz and I’ll feel like it’s vital knowledge for me to know which combination of Harry Potter and Parks and Recreation character I am. I try to tell myself that it’s an exercise in knowing myself better. Really, I just like to be a little narcissistic sometimes.
Perfection is an indie horror game that’s also a personality quiz of sorts. This short, free game takes place in a clinic where you, the player, are seeking perfection. The process you’re about to undergo apparently will make you a better, more whole person. At the end of the game, you get a brief summation of how you reacted to the scares, and it gives you a chance to reflect on what that means about you. A video game that’s also a personality quiz? Sign me up.
Actually, on second thought...
I love horror movies because I can disassociate myself from what’s happening on the screen, but horror games scare the shit out of me. There’s a moment in Perfection when game asks you to input your name and then walk down a corridor to the room where you’ll become perfect. On the way, there’s a room you can peek into, which I did. When I looked at the door again after doing so, the label on it had changed to “You were warned, Gita.” The game addressed me by name, and this scared me. As the game descended into a series of freaky glitches, the hallway morphing into a half-flooded mess and the wet breathing of a monster in my ear, I had to take my headphones off to progress. It was too much for me, though I did complete the game peeking between my fingers.
I didn’t even remember that this was a personality quiz until I finished the game and I got a readout of my results. Though I was pleased to see that the game noted that I don’t follow directions and do my own thing regardless of risk, I winced when it said that I tend to recoil from fear. That’s true, but kind of embarrassing. After reading these results, Perfection asked me I wanted to try again to better myself, or if I wanted to remain imperfect. I opted for the latter—no matter how much I love a personality quiz, I don’t think I can handle one that comes with jump scares.