In a recent post, Ysharros shared a real-life phobia of hers — heights — that can be triggered even by MMOs in certain situations. I feel for her, as I’m also acrophobic in the real world, but it’s never come up in game like it has for her.
I’d be interested to know if other folks have to struggle with their fears in game — for instance, I’ve heard it said often enough that some people who are spidey-phobic are genuinely creeped out by the giant spiders that all MMOs include, free of charge (I even read a guide to WoW’s PvP where it suggested that hunters train spiders to play against this common fear in others). Goodness knows that there’s enough weird things we’re all afraid of, for logical and irrational reasons, and MMOs have to hold at least a few.
MSNBC even did a report a while back about how some video games are being used to help people overcome their phobias in a safe, controlled environment — what, they don’t just push them to be a contestant on Fear Factor? Huh.