One only has to read a review of the trailer for a horror game such as Alien Isolation or Dying Light - full of words and phrases such as "pant-wetting: (incontinence is defined as being "unable to restrain natural discharges or evacuations of urine or feces") and "terrifying" ("to cause or feel extreme fear") - to know this.
There's now a whole generation of gamers and games journalists being reduced to haunted, jabbering, heavily-soiled, shells, just because games are now so realistically scary that they literally fear for their lives while playing them.
Indeed, we are assuming that many are currently being treated for post-traumatic stress as a result of their in-game experiences. Or, at least, that's the impression we get.
Yet it begs the question - what is the most terrifying gaming experience available? What are the five most scarifying games on the market? We placed our very sanity into the lightly-cupped bowl of our trembling hands to find out...
HOLYLIVINGOMG!!! He's not going away! He's just standing there, watching you, breathing heavily through his moist, slightly parted lips, his hunched shoulders rolling front-to-back as if in silent mirth!!!!
You scramble for your phone to call your flatmate Gary back from the pub, but... when you look back over... he's gone... like he was never there. Did you just imagine that? But if you did just imagine him... WHY ARE YOU CRYING FROM ONE OF YOUR EYES?!
4. FIVE NIGHTS AT FREDDY'S (Android, iOS, PC)
Tentatively, you take a few steps towards the glass, and peer over the sill... and THERE HE IS - on all fours, grunting and shuffling around like some bewildered pangolin. His face pressed into the perennials, trousers down around his ankles, pale buttocks covered in... OHMYGOD - what are they?! Are those maggots?!? No - weirder and more terrifying still: THEY'RE TIC-TACS!!!!!
He looks up at you with his eyes of pure obsidian... and scurries suddenly away BENEATH THE SHED YOU SHARE WITH YOUR UPSTAIRS NEIGHBOURS AND WHICH THEIR KID SOMETIMES USES AS A PLAYHOUSE IN THE SUMMER... leaving his trousers and a trail of Tic-Tacs behind!!!! OMGOMGOMGGGGG-GG-G-GGG!!!!
3. THE EVIL WITHIN (PS3, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS4, PC)
You should go out there. You should confront him. Except... nah. He's probably just some semi-defrocked nut in black contact lenses, playing a stupid joke. Probably drunk. You bet Gary put him up to this. He probably did it to get you back for that time you put baby powder in his hairdryer. You should just pretend you're not even bothered. 'Cause you're not... riiiight?!?!
2. OUTLAST (PS4, Xbox One, PC)
He's in the living room with you!!!! He's got in here somehow and... and... and... GARY! It was bloody Gary all along! You knew it! He was wearing a latex mask he bought off eBay, and he was filming you for his new scare-prank YouTube channel, Prankweasels!
Oh, Gary!!! You said it was him, didn't you? Silly Gary.
1. THE CREEPING PANIC (PS4, Xbox One, PC, iOS)
Faced with a pixel-perfect recreation of an actual self-assessment form, players are tasked with sifting through the past 12 months receipts and earnings, while navigating the 200-page document without making a single mistake...
...All while haunted with the pressing self-doubt that you could tick the wrong box, or falsely claim a landlord's allowance, or put a decimal point in the wrong place. And what if the cat eats the receipts, which you filed haphazardly in an old pair of your mother's tights? What if you go to prison for claiming that a baseball cap was tax deductible? What if everyone you've ever known or loved abandons you, rather than be associated with the stigma of tax form-wrongness?
Genuinely terrifying and incontinence-inducing. We literally ended up in psychiatric care after playing this game.