What Are You Afraid Of, Gamers?

What Are You Afraid Of, Gamers?

Is there anything in real life that scares you so much it affects your gaming?

For me, it’s underwater monsters. Mostly when it comes to games, that means sharks, but really, it can be anything that comes at you, unseen, from underwater. That’s the catch: if the game is set entirely underwater, I’m fine, but if it’s set mostly on land, and it drops you in water only briefly and then something’s coming to get you, I go to pieces.

I don’t mean it in a way that developers will think they’re doing a good job in provoking an emotional response from me. I mean it in a way that I will try and cheat or otherwise break a game to get out of/past those sequences. It’s not a challenge. It’s a total nothankyou.jpg.

Silly, I know! Irrational, even. But hey, that’s what fears and phobias are.

This makes me wonder how many of you are also missing out on sections of games, or skipping games entirely, based on a real-world phobia, rather than a virtual world preference.

Some of you mentioned a fear of heights, which would be a problem for any game with a sense of verticality. Mirror’s Edge must be a killer. But what else is there? Was anyone afraid of the dark so much they couldn’t play Doom 3 (or, for that matter, won’t play the almost perpetually-dark Alan Wake)? Or so afraid of spiders they couldn’t play Ocarina of Time?

It’s also OK to say you’re terrified of Fallout 3’s beards. I am too.


    • My problem with underwater sections of games is I end up holding my breath while I am doing them. And then I realise I can breath and it is like a huge gasp of air.

      But the thing that scares me in games the most is doing like 2 hours worth of gaming and then realising when your in a bad situation you forgot to save.

    • I ditto the water sections. What did it for me was Banjo Kazooie (maybe tooie) where if you went in the water jaws music started playing and then the image of a shark would slowly appera. If you didn’t get out in time you were a goner. So stressful just thinking about it.

  • I hate water sections too. I real-life I have a slight fear of water too but no where near as intense as when it’s in games.

    And I agree. When the whole game is underwater they usually give you full control or adequate defenses but when the game is mostly on land, you go in the water and all your stuff is pretty much useless.

    I also have a fear of heights in real-life but this doesn’t carry over to games.

  • Yeah I have to say I’ve felt that same way in FPS games. Something like Half Life, whenever you’re forced to go into water there’s a few moments of just looking at it thinking ‘anything could be in there.’

    Personally I think the only thing I fear in games is a serious loss of progression. For example, MMO games that have negative effects for dying like losing levels or equipment. I can appreciate these mechanics, see them as good motivation and ways to increase difficulty and risk, especially in these casual game times, but I don’t think I could ever play such a game myself.

    Oh and there’s always this http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2007/11/12/

  • Zombies. Honestly, zombies make me crap my pants more than anything else.

    I’m a huge arachnaphobe in real life, but I can deal with spiders in games. Zombies pop up though, and I’m behind the couch like a little girl. =(

  • I hate falling, or the sensation of falling i guess. Not so bad when you actually do a dive down some building (eg. Mirror’s Edge/Assassin’s Creed 2) but if I have to balance on some stupid beam AND the camera is pointing down I gt that stupid anxious nag in the back of my neck.

    Water isn’t so bad when you can surface, but when I know I HAVE to dive and resurface for pretty much my ENTIRE breath bar I get really really nervous. I hate diving 🙁

  • When I was around 8 or 9, I remember having a fear of music played backwards. Something about that just absoultely incredibly disturbing to me.

    So when I got to the last boss of Tombi 2, I finished it… and didn’t touch it again for 4 years.


  • I used to hate water sections, it was something brought on by a fear of the sewer level in N64’s Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire, where a tentacle thing chases you around the level, then at the end, you had to fight a massive tentacle boss monster thing underwater.

    I hated that level.

    Right now it’s probably a gushing steam pipe, after that sequence in the original FEAR (you know, the good one), where you’re crawling around in vent shafts and alma comes crawling at you on hands and knee’s.

  • spiders *shudders*
    in ocarina i could handle most of them, but id always take out the skulltana’s from a distance, and whenever id hear their scuttling sound *SHUDDERS* id run away 🙁

    twilight princess.. i got my brother to clear them out – they looked so gruesome!!!

  • In games the same kind of fear of unseen underwater creatures really gets to me too. Not to the extent that i will stop playing, but the water boss in Shadow of the Colossus was one of the most tense things i have every experienced.

  • The thing that creeps me out the most in real life are the big cement counter weights on cranes, i can’t stand the thought of being under one of them least has an argument with the crane and decides to leave in a hurry, yet the same thought has never occurred to me during a game.

    The only thing that scares me so much it effects how i play is DRM, just the idea of DRM in a game is enough to stop me buying it.

  • Yup, I’m cripplingly terrified of heights, strangely it rarely affects me in games unless the game in question really captures the scale of being so high up; the 3rd and last boss of Shadow of the Colossus and climbing that freaking huge tower in inFamous come to mind

  • Instead of a real phobia translating into the virtual world, I’ve had the opposite experience. I can’t even look at a wooden crate these days without freaking out, and don’t even get me started on propane tanks and turtles.

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