Thalassophobia mode or changing spiders for cats: this is how studies modify video games to combat phobias

Thalassophobia mode or changing spiders for cats: this is how studies modify video games to combat phobias

May 26. (Portaltic/EP) –

Great developers Video game players have introduced changes to their titles to combat user phobias and mitigate the harmful impact that characters and sequences may have on players, with options such as thalassophobia mode or exchanging spiders for cats.

The video game industry works to make games more accessible to players by offering options for people with special needs or with vision and hearing problems.

Among those who have opted to break down these barriers is Microsoft, which has recently introduced new filters in the Xbox game finder to make it easier to find games in its store.

So has Blizzard, which has added more than 50 accessibility options for its upcoming release. Devil IV, with details such as subtitles, sound warnings and options for assistance in the controls, in order to “break down the barriers that could hinder the game”.

The developers not only seek to remove these limitations for people with certain physical needs, but also plan to end the fears that users may have during the game.

so he picks it up Axios in a recent report, which brings together the latest news from three relevant video games that has announced special modes designed to help players overcome their phobias.

One of them is Horizon Forbidden West, from PlayStation, which has been updated with the Burning Shores DLC to include a Thalassophobia mode. This is a function that aims to alleviate the symptoms of this disorder, consisting of having a phobia of the sea and depths.

To solve this problem, the video game improves environmental visibility underwater and allows users to breathe continuously, “regardless of story progression”, as picked up by the user WLF359community manager of Guerrilla in the reddit community dedicated to the franchise.

Star Wars Jedi: Survivor, developed by Respawn Entertainment, It also arrived at the end of April with a safe mode of arachnophobia, which allows you to erase the trace of the wyyyschokkspecies from the planet Kashyyyk.

Once this function is activated, which is optional, this arthropod in the game acquires other characteristics that are different from those of a spider, such as legs or setules, so that looks like a different creature.

This is a reversible option that does not affect the overall progress of the story or the achievements of the players, so it presents the same challenges as if this filter for players with spider phobia had not been activated, as he recalls gamerant.

The arachnophobia mode of the video game is also now available hogwarts legacy, following the implementation of patch 1140773 for PlayStation, Xbox S|X and PC. This patch, in particular, allows “change the appearance of enemy spiders”, also reducing the noises emitted by these arthropods and making their corpses invisible.


From Axios they remember that these companies are not pioneers in solving these phobia problems in players, since in 2020 the case of the arachnophobia mode of Grounded, a survival game from the Obsidian Entertainment studio, owned by Microsoft.

So the developer analyzed together with members of Xbox Research how a group of users reacted negatively when spiders appeared during games. oObserved that fear and disgust towards these arthropods “increased in all groups surveyed as added spider textures, eyes and audio effects“, as explained in a statement.

Grounded also worked with Microsoft to understand how to alleviate these fears during gameplay, creating a control that allowed you to activate ‘Safe Mode’, which alters the appearance of spiders and remove the legs and tusks.

Consulted by Axios, Obsidian programmer Brian MacIntosh said his goal “was not just to make spiders not scary” but to provide a way for players with phobias to reduce “their level of fear of what someone who is not phobic might experience.

The response from the developers of the action simulation game Satisfactory, on the other hand, was even more drastic when in 2019 they introduced an option that replaced spiders with cat face holograms

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