Fear Factor

Fear takes form in Gabriel Gould’s latest build

More than a video game and more than a tool to build epic worlds and works of art, Minecraft can be a vehicle for expression in all its forms. The beautiful, the funny, the creepy, and even the sad and scary. Gabriel Gould, fresh from his build that examined his childhood memories, has created something else from deep within his heart – but something darker and more frightening.

He calls it Fear. And judging from the black skulls and bony arms that look like something more out of Resident Evil rather than Minecraft, it certainly is scary. Though this build isn’t meant to inspire fright in others, but meant to express and confront the fear within himself.

“The idea I had for this project was based on my own fears and my own anxiety,” Gabriel says. “Fear of the unknown, fear of losing creativity, and darker topics like death. Most of all, it’s about the fear that this fear will consume me and become who I am.”

Gabriel talks about his inspiration for making his fear look like a giant blob of skulls and limbs. “The long arms coming out of the project are based on Stromae's “Quand c'est”, a song about cancer. My grandfather died from cancer a few years back. A fear I wanted to highlight in this project was my fear of cancer.”

The skulls stacked one on the other certainly look cancerous, same as the limbs reaching out as if to metastasize to other parts of the body and mind. But not everything involved with building this giant tumorous mass of death was all doom and gloom. There were some lighthearted moments Gabriel encountered while building this too, courtesy of an unhelpful pet.

“I almost crashed the server three times and my cat almost knocked over my monitor. And once in chat I witnessed a rap battle.”

Appropriate since Gabriel takes a lot of inspiration for this work from rap.

“I've always been a big Kendrick Lamar fan, and a hip hop fan in general, but I feel his latest album is something really amazing. The idea of the album is fear, just like in my project. I really liked the way Kendrick was able to capture his fears and use imagery to describe exactly what he was feeling.”

And just like Kendrick and his music, Gabriel uses Minecraft to describe exactly what he’s feeling too.

With rendering help from Florian Funke, Darastilix, and Xelacreations and build assistance from Necrosys, Minecraft helps Gabriel give a face to his fears.

“Minecraft is a good way to express how you feel. The skulls and faces really represent my fear of death. If there is one thing I'd like people to take away from this piece is that everyone has fears, and it's okay to have them. The idea is to never let those fears consume you.”

It’s good to know Gabriel hasn’t been consumed by his own fears, as he’s already working on his next build. “I do have a large project coming soon and I promise, this next project isn't as dark as this one. The idea of this next one is trust.”

Trust then, that like Growing Up and Fear, Gabriel’s next work will be something spectacular.