With Halloween finally here, television stations played scary movies all month, haunted houses ran their own promotions, and gamers of course have their scary games (along side the new releases that have come out recently). It seems fear is in the air and while we’ve visited lists offering the top free indie horror games and the top games of the undead, I think we look at other things that cause fear in people. In this list, rather than the supernatural aspects of terror, we’re going to look at everyday things that scare people.
This is the Top 5 Phobias in Gaming
Agoraphobia is described as an abnormal fear of being helpless in an embarrassing or inescapable situation that is characterized especially by the avoidance of open or public places.
By this logic a ton of video games would cause an agoraphobic person cringe with fear. Open worlds and tense situations and battles would put people suffering from this phobia in a very bad spot. there have been occasions where people that do have this phobia can use gaming as a way of socializing without being in public. While there hasn’t been any research to suggest games can actually help people with agoraphobia, maybe video games could be looked into a little bit more.
Snakes…Why did it have to be snakes? From the giant mechanical snakes in God of War: Ascension to the rattlesnakes in Red Dead Redemption, snakes have had some key roles in games. Playing roles as something as low-key as a background set, other times as threats trying to kill the player. Indiana Jones is afraid of snakes…Maybe it’s their creepy eyes, the way they slither around, or the fact that they’re very deadly creatures.
Aerophobia or aviatophobia is better known as the fear of flying in airplanes, helicopters or other flying vehicles. Again, most open world games allow players to use airplanes and helicopters as a way of transportation. For some people playing a Grand Theft Auto or Saint’s Row game, some of the fastest modes of transportation are also the scariest. Maybe it’s because the fear of flying is often associated with crashing, and lets face facts here, not a lot of flights in free roaming sessions end with a clean landing.
Speaking of flying, this is one that is more personal than the rest. Heights drive me crazy in a lot of games. My hands get sweaty, my heart starts racing, I get very nervous…And this is for the tree levels in the Mario games. With a lot of platformers, and open world games with climbing or access to the tops of buildings the fear of heights can come into play for gamers almost as long as there have been games.
Ah, the fear of death. The finality of life, isn’t necessarily the end for gamers, but generally something all of us want to avoid in just about every game we play…At least ones where death is option to avoid, unlike those safe sports games. One death can lead into another, which leads into the dreaded Game Over screen; or can force the player to adapt and adjust their strategy. Ultimately death is among one of those lingering fears the player must do their best to avoid.
So what about you gamers? Is there a phobia that gets under your skin in gaming? Is there something on this list that plays into your fears, or is there something else we didn’t mention? Like the time your arachnophobia crept in when Drake and Sully were trying to outrun a hoard of spiders? Let us know in the comment section below, and tell us what you think.