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“Eternal Darkness benefited from slightly more sophisticated tactics, but it isn’t difficult to imagine Castle himself devising and marketing Nintendo’s patented “sanity meter”—that epithet even sounds like a Castle original. And in the end the sanity meter’s appeal isn’t much different from the gimmicks promoted by films like The Tingler: Both promise audiences the novelty of an experience they’ve never had before. Perhaps that’s a superficial virtue, an easy way to render something ordinary extraordinary. But there’s value in seeing and feeling something new, something that genuinely takes us by surprise, even if the effect is chiefly to annoy.”

—Tracing the roots of Eternal Darkness’ infamous gimmick to a ’50s B-movie High-res

Eternal Darkness benefited from slightly more sophisticated tactics, but it isn’t difficult to imagine Castle himself devising and marketing Nintendo’s patented “sanity meter”—that epithet even sounds like a Castle original. And in the end the sanity meter’s appeal isn’t much different from the gimmicks promoted by films like The Tingler: Both promise audiences the novelty of an experience they’ve never had before. Perhaps that’s a superficial virtue, an easy way to render something ordinary extraordinary. But there’s value in seeing and feeling something new, something that genuinely takes us by surprise, even if the effect is chiefly to annoy.”

Tracing the roots of Eternal Darkness’ infamous gimmick to a ’50s B-movie