Virtual reality isn’t all about flying through space or piloting a mech, you know. The technology can have legitimately helpful applications, too, like assisting someone in getting over their fear of spiders.



Let’s face it: Spiders aren’t exactly the most adorable creatures on the planet. Something about their creepy-crawly behavior – or maybe the fact that they have eight legs when two to four is plenty for most species – makes them a prime candidate for late-night terror fits from many folks.

Arachnophobia isn’t just a fear of spiders or even a Hollywood film about a monstrous horde of the beasts; it’s now a game. Surprisingly enough, Arachnophobia isn’t about getting attacked by swarms of spiders or tarantulas the size of a bus. Coming from the folks at IgnisVR, this game recently launched on Steam with the intent of making the eight-legged freaks a little less terrifying. After all, you know you’re safe in VR, right? So maybe dealing with virtual versions of your fear will help you get over them more easily, right?

According to Kotaku’s, Mike Fahey, that’s something that might be easier said than done. He openly admits to having a fear of spiders and, after about five minutes inside of Arachnophobia, he wasn’t exactly changing his mind.

Maybe it’s not very nice to find enjoyment in someone else’s misery, but watching poor Fahey try and confront his fears in this short video is definitely an entertaining romp. He clearly is not a fan of the game’s approach to helping him overcome his fear, either, calling the game a “definite nope” for folks who suffer a similar phobia.

The good news is that, since this is a game, Fahey is A-OK and can get over his traumatic experience by booting up another game. There’s no better way to get rid of that crawling feeling all over your skin than to orchestrate a bank robbery, fly a fighter ship through space or take on a horde of zombies. If you also have a fear of the undead, though, your day will only get worse if you tackle that last one.

Still, it’s neat to see developers thinking outside the box when it comes to creative uses of virtual reality. Maybe things didn’t go so well for Fahey, but maybe that’s to be expected the first time around.

Either way, it looks like the future of VR is getting brighter and brighter. There are already a couple of big name headsets available and the PlayStation VR is due out this fall. Strong rumors are pointing to a VR presence from Microsoft at E3 next week, too, so we’ll see how that all pans out.

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