Top 5 Suspense Filled Video Games To Play This Month

Top 5 Suspense Filled Video Games To Play This Month

Looking for a scary ride through the video game world? Check out these picks.
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Sometimes, watching movies during the spooky October season isn't enough if you are an adrenaline junkie and a true lover of thrill and terror. If you are looking for some new video games to play that are scary, heart pounding, or just plain stressful (in a fun way) then check out my top 5 picks!

Whether you play alone or with a group of friends; late at night or during the day (just to be safe, like me), these games are sure to give you plenty of scares.

1. Outlast (Series)

Possibly three of the scariest games I have come across: the Outlast series. It has gained notoriety for its first-person survival aspect focused on a run or hide option, and not being able to fight back against the various enemies you meet. This is sure to pack a punch and provide plenty of terrifying encounters, and heart-pounding chase scenarios that require quick thinking.

If you enjoy games with multi-layered storylines that provide more than just minor jump scares, check out Outlast. The first, second and third installments are all part of the same universe, but can be played on their own. I suggest checking out Outlast 1&2 as a set, preferably.

Outlast is currently available on PS4, XBOX One, Microsoft Windows, OS X and Linux.

2. Until Dawn

The interactive survival horror game, Until Dawn, gained its popularity by being designed to be playable multiple times, as players can't view all of the content over one play through.

Based on the "butterfly effect," the game provides a unique experience depending on how the player chooses, through multiple scenarios, a choice of action that has various consequences later in the game. The graphics of this game are also exceptional, and the storyline plays out more so like a movie than your average game.

Part of the fun for me in playing it was that you become invested in keeping certain characters alive, and it is, quite frankly, devastating when one wrong move results in their death later in the game. If you enjoy video games with a more immersive effect, check out this one, available on PS4.

3. Dying Light 1&2

I couldn't not include a zombie game in my list, and this is by far one of my favorite zombie games I have played.

Based in an open world environment (meaning that the player has free range to explore the maps provided) this survival horror game offers a fun, duel experience: the world of Dying Light during the day is already difficult enough to handle, but once night falls, it becomes an entirely different universe.

Once the world turns dark, the player is given the option to either remain in hiding until dawn, or try and explore the map that is now infested with the strongest zombies in the game. As well as this, the player is given multiple tasks with a varying level of difficulty, some meant to be complete during the day, and others at night.

This game uses the player's ability to adapt and traverse through the various areas of the map. If the player makes too much noise zombies are attracted to the area. So it is smart to use melee weapons versus guns and the like. If you want to test out your ability to play complex games that also happen to include scary moments, check out Dying Light, available on Microsoft Windows, Linux, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.

4. Layers of Fear

Less complex than the previous games mentioned, but still an excellent horror game in its own right, this indie game focuses on a painter and his hallucinations. As you play through the game, the hallucinations get gradually more terrifying, and you unveil more of the storyline and the painter's past with each clue you find.

The ambiance of the game is the generic spooky manor with occasional jump scares during a thunderstorm, but the twist of the character's memories give it a very Amnesia-esque feel. If you enjoyed that game, you will love Layers of Fear, available on Steam, Linux, Xbox One, PS4, Nintendo Switch, Microsoft, and OSX.

5. Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs

Developed as an indirect sequel for the popular game Amnesia: A Dark Descent, Machine for Pigs offers an intricate storyline and original scares, like the ones offered in older indie horror games. An oldie but a goodie, it was recently re-released on PS4 as part of the Amnesia Collection.

If none of these other games suit your fancy and you'd rather start with something older, definitely check out the Amnesia series.

Cover Image Credit: Dying Light: The Following

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I Was Accidentally Charged $700, Had My Picture Published As Someone Else And Only Embraced Internet Security Afterwards

Pay attention to where you information is on the Internet because it could be misused without you ever knowing.
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Bing. Email.

"You sent a payment of $663 to Facebook."

Bing. Text.

"Hey, this is your picture in this magazine. I didn't know you were a doctoral student conducting research with your professors."

Sadly, both of those scenarios were me, all in a span of three months. Let me explain:

Last semester, I took a class that required to learn and execute Facebook Ads. Obviously, a credit card was linked so students were not using their own money. Well, somehow my PayPal got linked to the student account (my fault, and I'm not ashamed to share that). It charged me once at $30 and got it reversed on my own, so I didn't tell anyone.

Then it happened again, double that amount.

So, I told my professor (good idea, Rebecca). We had quite the banter back and forth with Facebook, and they ended up taking even more from my account instead of giving it back to me. Well, they fixed that, but I still didn't have the funds back from the second time. Let's just say we settled the second time around - I got about half back, but I'm not mad because I thought I wouldn't get anything back.

Fast forward to this semester. I got an email last Wednesday informing me Facebook had charged me almost $700 for Facebook Ads. To be really honest, I flipped out. I thought this was over with, and I was afraid I wouldn't get the money back. Long story short, there was a mistake and my card was never removed from the class that had access to these funds.

My point here is, know exactly where your information is going on the Internet, whether it be Facebook Ads and PayPal or Facebook and those games that you get annoying notifications for. Thankfully, I am getting a total refund.

Last year, I was in an intern for CollegeFashionista.

Basically, I took photos of fashion and wrote blog posts about it, and I had a profile picture just like any other communication medium. For some reason, whenever I googled my name, this photo of me would pop up - none from Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc..

About a year later, my roommate's grandma texted her, "Hey isn't this your roommate?"

The photo I mentioned earlier had been mistakenly placed in a magazine, wrongly attributing me as a doctoral communication student.

Now, that sounds fancy, but it is still my photo in a magazine, with no permission to use.

I had mistakenly gotten into a slew of emails, and the reporter had googled my name instead of the correct Rebecca. Apparently, he used the first photo that popped up.

What if that wasn't even the correct Rebecca?

Pay attention! Pay attention where your photos are, whether it be on a blog, social media, etc. If you have to, put a Google Alert for your name. I would have never found out about it, and the magazine probably would have never mentioned it to me.

You know how annoying it is when you try to make an easy password, but you didn't put a special character in? Just do it. Protect your stuff, and know where your information goes.

Cover Image Credit: Rebecca Calloway

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What I Learned From My Broken Computer

Don't rely on a fragile device.
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July and August of 2016 were exciting months. I began drafting my first novel (still unfinished), got my first smartphone, took a trip down the Oregon and California coasts, got my first computer, and started college. Yay!

As you see, I've only had my own personal computer for about 20 months. In that time, I've used it extensively for schoolwork, writing, and, yes, social media. Without realizing it, I quickly became attached to the sleek silver clamshell. Much of what was important to me was done through my computer.

It was great.

Let me emphasize "was". Just a couple weeks ago, my keyboard and trackpad more or less stopped working, and I haven't been able to get it fixed yet. I can kind of do stuff with an external keyboard plugged in, but the trackpad is stuck on right-click, which is a challenge. None of this is conducive to working on homework (or anything else) efficiently.

I never knew how much I relied on my computer until I couldn't use it anymore. I was so used to having my own computer that I took it for granted. Now, I must be intentional about my computer usage, since I either borrow my mom's computer or use the computer labs at school. I can't just casually flip it open and poke through Facebook.

A while ago, I deleted Facebook from my phone because I realized that it was too much of a temptation for wasting time. Surely I wouldn't spend as much time on social media if I was only logged in on my computer. I was wrong, of course.

The internet is unequivocally a major distraction. It's so easy to say I'm just going to check if there's any important communication, but that quickly turns into a half hour of mindlessly wandering Facebook, Twitter, and DeviantArt. When it wasn't social media, I'd be looking up news about upcoming Star Wars and Avengers movies, or browsing through old pictures in my library.

Let me make something clear: I did not throw all of my wasted time to entirely brainless pursuits. My computer had pseudo-productive ways for me to fritter away the hours. I would get worldbuilding ideas for a potential and spend a while typing and researching, or maybe work on updating my campus bird list. While these things are not wrong in and of themselves, they are a problem when they interfere with my responsibilities.

Now that my access to computers is more limited, I am forced to be much more careful with how I spend my time on the computer. A much greater proportion of my computer time these days is actually productive, compared to when I freely opened my computer whenever I wanted to. Overall, I'm also spending less time on the computer.

The results have been mostly positive, I think. The reduced screen time is great for my eyes. I rediscovered the joy of writing stories by hand, and I've had more time to read. Except for when I have urgent assignments, I'm not on the computer late at night, which is good for helping me fall asleep. And as I already said, I'm becoming more efficient with my computer.

Unfortunately, I still procrastinate like nobody's business. It just takes different forms now. For example, I spent an hour and a half reading a novel when I should have been showering, studying, and getting ready for bed. I play games with my sister. Again, these things are wonderful, but only when I'm not putting off responsibility.

Time management is a completely different issue from computer attachment, which has finally sunk in. Okay, I know not to rely on computers so much anymore. That's a good thing. The habit of procrastination will take longer to break, since it's been with me for as long as I can recall, plus my prefrontal cortex isn't fully developed yet.

But hey, I'm making progress. With God's grace, I will continue to mature and learn how to handle my inclination to laziness. Breaking my attachment to my computer was a strong first step.

Cover Image Credit: montillon.a (via Flickr)

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