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Women as witness, victim and villain: multifaceted role-play in Fatal Frame II.

Gee, M., 2023. Women as witness, victim and villain: multifaceted role-play in Fatal Frame II. Journal for cultural research. (In Press)

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Women as witness victim and villain multifaceted role play in Fatal Frame II.pdf - Published Version
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DOI: 10.1080/14797585.2023.2238146


In 2003 Japanese folk horror game Fatal Frame II: Crimson Butterfly directed by Makoto Shibata, the protagonist bears witness to an ancient tradition of a community linked to the ritual sacrifice of twins, which results in the female victim becoming a malevolent spirit. Gradually the player, as Mio, equipped with the Camera Obscura, transitions from observer to participant in the cycle of events that results in sacrificing their own twin sister. This article focuses on establishing the game within the folk horror subgenre, before examining three female characters: Mio, the protagonist, who shifts from witness/voyeur to participant; Mayu, their twin, who transitions from unwilling to willing sacrifice; and Sae, the victim of the original ritual and antagonist. In Fatal Frame II, the Camera Obscura, which captures the supernatural world, is the lens through which past and present blur as the player is confronted by the twisted beliefs of the village. Through analysis of the game’s narrative, ludic elements, and visual aesthetics, I examine how these roles fit within the context of folk horror, gender and Japanese folklore.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:folk horror; video games; gender; genre studies; Japanese folklore
Group:Faculty of Media & Communication
ID Code:38970
Deposited By: Symplectic RT2
Deposited On:08 Sep 2023 12:41
Last Modified:08 Sep 2023 12:41


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