People are scared of things, usually in ways that might not make sense to others. Games can capitalize on these simple fears in ways you might not expect…but also they can be a ‘safe’ environment to confront things you might not be able to deal with otherwise.
I’ve seen many do this, and I’ve attempted to do it before…with poor results. My latest endeavor with that was:
What is, very clearly a quality game, made well, its visuals and atmosphere are well designed, the gameplay loop if you’re into survival is fairly steady and good…and also it drives down hard on a fear of mine.
I’m terrified of the ocean, of deep, open water. I’m not sure when this phobia started, but there it is. In sort of an effort to have fun and see what my friends enjoyed about the game, I got it while it was free on the epic store.
This was my first mistake.
My endeavor with this game lasted around 3-4 hours give or take. I spent time doing all the things around the ‘safe’ area which constantly had me on edge, due to the noises and atmosphere, every little thing making me jump or tense up in fear. Legitimately triggering fight or flight reactions…mine happen to be fight so it lead to some kind of amusing moments of me trying to knife fight a fish…
But all in all I took breaks, I spent time setting up a base, and I felt satisfied with my progress… I even crafted a little submersible vehicle, that has a cute name, the sea moth. Feeling a bit more bold, I take this thing, and go over a ridge, my first time using it, my first time exploring this area… its darkish, but not too dark.
And the moment I crest it, there is a roar, and instantly panic. The next moment, there is a giant monster grappling onto my sub, and I had a panic attack so severe I actually closed the game and uninstalled it.
And I’m curious, for those out there who have fears, do you try and confront them in games, or deal with them?
Do you strictly avoid them?
If you do engage with them in games, how do you fare with that? What are your experiences with it?