I Learned Something Today: Silent Hill

Those of us slaving away in 9-5 jobs often fantasize about the freeing experience of taking to the open road and exploring the highways and country roads of our magnificent country. In the most extreme of circumstances, the road trip has also been a stalwart of unconventional mental health treatment, best applied when the aforementioned grind validates acts of moral turpitude. Despite its benefits, a road trip is prey to unforeseen circumstances and where the positive aspects are defined by souvenir gathering and truck stop diners, the negative can equate to far worse consequences. Fortunately, Silent Hill was created as a guide to all those yearning to put aside their daily responsibilities and take to the asphalt.

The Lessons of Silent Hill

  1. Fog affects more than visibility
  2. AM radio can save your life
  3. Let family members stay lost
  4. Stay away from quaint towns

Fog affects more than visibility

I learned something today. Driving in the fog is annoying and often leads to the necessity for slower speeds, which adds precious minutes to a journey ill equipped to deal with constraint. I tend to see it solely as a driving hazard, but soon realized that there’s really no clear way of knowing exactly what lies just beyond my sight. Perhaps there’s a pot hole large enough to cause tire damage, or maybe it’s something more sinister. The thing about fog is you really never know and assuming that it’s merely a ground level cloud is as foolish as the assumption that fresh water lakes can’t harbor sharks or giant alligators. Play it safe and avoid walking into the fog at all costs, it could save your life. Thanks, Silent Hill.

Silent Hill

The edge of that cliff would be easily avoided if not for the heavy cover of fog

AM radio can save your life

I learned something today. I’ve never understood the existence of AM radio. It’s always full of static and the programs consist of either high school sports coverage, Spanish music or religious zealots. With the availability of FM or satellite radio, AM seems like it’s a needless occupier of space on the already tight dashboard. However, the functionality of AM radio does not lie in its entertainment value but in its ability to detect danger. I don’t know exactly how it works, but turn it on and wait for it to get louder (without you turning up the dial that is). The louder the static the closer you are to something that could kill you, especially useful when entering spooky environments and economically depressed areas of large cities. With the abilities that AM radio possesses, it’s entirely your fault if you get car jacked or eaten by haunted trees. Thanks, Silent Hill.

Let family members stay lost

Silent Hill daughter

She may be your only daughter, but your mind isn't clear enough to lead an effective search party.

I learned something today. I enjoy taking my wife with me on these expeditions, but there’s always a chance that we could get separated at some point in the trip. As much as I love my wife, there’s a high probability of her finding her way back to me on her own and if not, I’ll contact the authorities. See, the thing about searching for lost family members is that the emotional connection can often blind a person and prevent them from making rational decisions. I’d never walk into an abandoned lumber mill on my own, unless of course I was trying to locate my wife. Lumber mills are dangerous and no place for a person without lumber related skills, so should I suspect she wandered in there, it’s best to let a police officer know. A road trip can’t continue if both of us are lost. Thanks, Silent Hill.

Stay away from quaint towns

I learned something today. At some point, a person needs to take a break from long hours of driving, so a stop into a local town for some food and maybe a bit of shut eye is very important. In the past, I’d determine my stops based on town names, always looking for ones that sounded the most approachable, such as Pleasant Hollow or Happinessville. This is the worst thing you can do, as towns are only named based on the animals and landmarks in their general proximity or as a means to mask the horrifying and mysterious environments that lie below the surface. Most travelers are ignorant and fall victim to these superficial pleasantries, so stay informed and aim for the places with names like Eagle Rock or Bear Lake, that way you know you’re safe. Thanks, Silent Hill.

Silent Hill map

Quiet leads to relaxation, silence indicates that everyone is dead


The worst kind of tragedies are the one’s you cannot expect. Road trips are never planned with horrible life changing events in mind so be cautious, be vigilant and your trip will be memorable because that means you actually survived as dead people do not have memories. Thanks, video games.

I Learned Something Today – Who says that video games can’t teach you life skills? Sure they may get you put in prison or banished from society, but they are skills nonetheless. We take an over-the-top look at some of the potential applications of what video games have taught us.


Giant Bomb (images)