RISKY BUSINESS - VIDEO GAMES + PLAYING POKER + EXTREME SPORTS: Horror, Adrenaline and the Psychology of Taking Risks | The Fan Carpet Ltd • The Fan Carpet: The RED Carpet for FANS • The Fan Carpet: Fansites Network • The Fan Carpet: Slate • The Fan Carpet: Theatre Spotlight • The Fan Carpet: Arena • The Fan Carpet: International

RISKY BUSINESS – VIDEO GAMES + PLAYING POKER + EXTREME SPORTS: Horror, Adrenaline and the Psychology of Taking Risks

03 July 2019

As far as movie genres go, it’s hard to look past horror if you’re searching for a film that offers maximum tension, excitement and a strong sense of risk.

In fact, the action of watching characters on-screen making tricky decisions often provides great entertainment for the casual viewer. Research studies have even found that risk-taking activates certain areas of the brain relating to enjoyment and pleasure, providing us with a little rush of adrenaline every time we make or observe a decision where the outcome is uncertain. It’s no wonder that horror film junkies constantly seek the thrill of diving into the unknown!

Of course, there are a wide array of other multimedia situations and real-life occasions when we might be faced with making a risky decision, all of which can prove to be a pleasurable experience if you’re into that sort of thing. Let’s take a closer look.

Video games



"Resident-Evil-2-091018-005" (Public Domain) by instacodez

It often turns out that many film fanatics are also regular gamers that are keen to put themselves right at the centre of the action – particularly when it comes to the horror genre.

Titles like Resident Evil and Silent Hill have really stood the test of time over the past few decades, but we’ve also seen huge strides in the evolution of VR gaming in more recent years. There’s no doubt that virtual reality platforms hold incredible potential going forwards, and we’ve already seen a number of best-selling horror games released across various devices.

Playing poker



"Poker!" (CC BY-ND 2.0) by Viri G

Poker is easily one of the all-time classic casino card games for good reason. It’s one of the only card games that allows players to pit their wits as part of a psychological head to head with each other. The risk factor involved with bluffing and double bluffing is clearly cause for excitement.

Modern players are also increasingly seeking the thrill of the casino floor from the comfort of their own home. Sites like Global Poker specialise in a wide range of online poker games – from Texas Hold’em to Omaha High – all of which give players the chance to win big in a fun and friendly environment.

Extreme sports



"Sky dive" (CC BY 2.0) by reynermedia
For many adrenaline junkies, the thrill of taking risks extends to real-life experiences and extreme sports. Whether it’s mountain biking, sky diving or ice climbing, there’s a thriving worldwide community of thrill-seekers who love nothing more than testing their limits and pushing their nerve to breaking point.

Even if you’re not ready to throw yourself out of a plane just yet, the invention of devices such as the Go-Pro means that it’s even possible for people to get a vicarious thrill by watching extreme sports unfold via a first-person view.
The common thread linking all of these activities together is the innate need that some people have to dive into the unknown every once and a while. Humans have been enjoying the process of taking risks for as long as we’ve existed, and we’re certainly not going to stop any time soon!

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