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Expansion, Excess and the Uncanny: Deadly Premonition and Twin Peaks

Faculty of Health, Arts and Design, Swinburne University of Technology, P.O. Box 218, Hawthorn, Victoria 3122, Australia
Received: 29 June 2018 / Revised: 3 September 2018 / Accepted: 3 September 2018 / Published: 7 September 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gaming and the Arts of Storytelling)
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The influence of the cult television series Twin Peaks (1990–1991) can be detected in a wide range of videogames, from adventure, to roleplaying to survival horror titles. While many games variously draw upon the narrative, setting and imagery of the series for inspiration, certain elements of the distinctive uncanniness of Twin Peaks are difficult to translate into gameplay, particularly its ability consistently disrupt the expectations and emotional responses of its audience. This paper examines the ways in which the 2010 survival horror title Deadly Premonition replicates the uncanniness of Twin Peaks in both its narrative and gameplay, noting how it expands upon conceptualizations of the gamerly uncanny. It contends that Deadly Premonition’s awkward recombination of seemingly inconsistent and excessive gameplay features mirrors the ways in which David Lynch and Mark Frost draw upon and subvert audience expectations for police procedurals and soap operas in the original Twin Peaks in order to generate an uncanny effect. Furthermore, Deadly Premonition uses the theme of possession—a central element of the television series—to offer a diegetic exploration of the uncanny relationship between the player and their onscreen avatar. In these regards, Deadly Premonition provides a rare example of how the subversive uncanniness of Twin Peaks can be addressed through gameplay, rather than solely through the game’s narrative or representational elements. View Full-Text
Keywords: the uncanny; Deadly Premonition; Twin Peaks; survival horror the uncanny; Deadly Premonition; Twin Peaks; survival horror
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Novitz, J. Expansion, Excess and the Uncanny: Deadly Premonition and Twin Peaks. Arts 2018, 7, 49.

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