Consumers 'Seeking Out' Horror Films And Games12 March 2009
The findings, backed by scientists at Kent university, suggest that the amount of fear consumers seek out and are comfortable with is increasing.
70 per cent of 18-30 years olds admitted to enjoying being scared, with 60 per cent of 36-40 year olds joining them, showing that the enjoyment isn't confined to the young.
Over 83 per cent of those surveyed claimed that they induced fear through video games, film and books.
Frank Furedi, the author of The Culture of Fear and Professor of Sociology at University of Kent, commented: "Paradoxically although fear is part of our everyday experience many of us actually welcome the opportunity to feel a little bit scared.
"In a risk-averse age many of us possess that very human aspiration to find out how we react to scary circumstances.
"In contrast to our routine fears health, economic insecurity, relationship breakdown horror games and films directly stimulate our senses and excite the imagination."
He added: "That is why so many of us are drawn to video games, horror films and or thriller novels."
The survey marks the upcoming release of horror action game Resident Evil 5, available for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 this Friday. The game features decapitation and innocents infected with a mutilating disease.
Scientists claim that although current events, including the credit crunch, are seen as 'scary,' true fear is rarely experienced in modern life, where video games and horror films are the most reliable place to induce fear.
"For many people, especially the young the world is far too safe and predictable," Furedi continued.
"Yes, we fear death but many feel truly alive when they have encountered difficult and scary circumstances. When 73 per cent say that they enjoy being scared a little what they mean is that a dose of fright reminds them that there is more to life than a 9-5 routine. Being scared is part of life.
"Playing with our fears through games conventional or digital helps many of us to manage them."
In the real world, fear of terrorists (29.8 per cent), dying (26 per cent), murderers (22 per cent), losing a partner (16.6 per cent) and spiders (8%) were top reasons for fear. Children (0-18) are more scared of clowns than snakes or the dark.
Wolverhampton is the horror-loving capital of Britain, with 50 per cent enjoying a scare. Gloucester (46 per cent) and Aberdeen (43 per cent) come second and third respectively.
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