Doki Doki Subversion Club!

Gothic Ghosts, Uncanny Glitches, and Abject Boundaries

  • Matthew Scott Allan University of Auckland


This article investigates the visual novel and dating simulator Doki Doki Literature Club! (Team Salvato, 2017) and examines the unique potential of video games as a media form to produce uncanny, gothic, and abject horror texts. In DDLC!, these modes of horror are manifested through “game breaking” mechanics, such as purposeful glitches and moments where the boundaries of the operating system are transgressed. Through this transgression, the game haunts the player’s computer, and by extension, their home. This haunting is achieved through unique aspects of the video game medium as well as the ubiquitous nature of digital technology present in our daily lives and domestic spaces.

March 24, 2023