Evolution of the YouTube Personas Related to Survival Horror Games


  • Francesco Toniolo Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Italy




survival horror, video game, YouTube, creepypasta, fanvid, Let's play


The indie survival horror game genre has given rise to some of the most famous game streamers on YouTube, especially titles like Amnesia: The Dark Descent (Frictional Games 2010), Slender: The Eight Pages (Parsec Productions 2012), and Five Nights at Freddy’s (Scott Cawthon 2014). The games are strongly focused on horror tropes including jump scares and defenceless protagonists, which lend them to displays of overemphasised emotional reactions by YouTubers, who use them to build their online personas in a certain way. This paper retraces the evolution of the relationship between horror games and YouTube personas, with attention to in-game characters and gameplay mechanics on the one hand and the practices of prominent YouTube personas on the other. It will show how the horror game genre and related media, including “Let’s play” videos, animated fanvids, and “creepypasta” stories have influenced prominent YouTuber personas and resulted in some changes in the common processes of persona formation on the platform.


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How to Cite

Toniolo, F. (2021). Evolution of the YouTube Personas Related to Survival Horror Games. Persona Studies, 6(2), 54–68. https://doi.org/10.21153/psj2020vol6no2art964



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