The Evil Within is one scary game, huh? Sony, apparently, can now prove just how scary it is. All it needs is your saliva. In the following clip, Sony says it gathered a group of fifty people (both men and women) to watch the scariest horror movie as selected by one hundred horror fans. Then, it took a saliva sample, measuring salivary α-amylase.
What's that? As this report in the US National Library of Medicine states, "We conclude that salivary α-amylase is a promising biomarker for fearful experiences, and suggest that it is important to pay attention to positively valenced arousal that may be induced by fearful stimuli in a laboratory setting."
So, according to Sony's study, which was overseen by the "Kato Clinic" (m'kay!), the amount of the average rate of amylase increase after watching the scary horror movie was 175 per cent. However, the average rate of amylase increase after playing The Evil Within (AKA Psycho Break in Japan) was a whopping 211 per cent.
People who participated say the difference is that in horror movies, you are watching another person. However, when you are playing a scary game, you are directly connected to the action and you must escape.
This could be good science. It could be junk science. But as someone who loves horror movies but can have difficulty playing horror games, I do a agree that a scary video game can relentlessly get under your skin in a way that movies simply cannot.
PlayStation 4『サイコブレイク』 vs "最も怖かったホラー映画" [PlayStation Japan]