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Reader Comments (40)

Posted: Apr 30th 2011 9:51AM Jeromai said

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Fear of failure or of looking incompetent perhaps, ramped up to perfectionist levels.

Makes grouping a problem when the challenge bar is set too high and veteran/PUG player expectations have developed to the point of being sullen and impatient when someone is learning. Especially in mission critical roles like tanking or healing. I end up insecurely second and triple guessing my performance or build even when it could be someone else's issue.

Object-based fears are no problem. I'm nervous around snakes and scorpions in real life - they squirm, they scuttle and they're venomous to boot, but in MMOs, they're just sprites on a screen. Haven't seen realistic enough animation to trigger any ancient instincts yet, and most of the time, I'm about to hit them with a big hammer with no actual danger of dying from poison, thank you.

Posted: Apr 30th 2011 10:12AM arborhawk said

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Yep happend to me twice. First time in Everquest When i fighting giant spiders. ( similar to the pic in the Article. )
and Several time while jumping off buildings in CoH. This was more because i allowed it. By somehow suspending my knowledge it was a game and focusing on the screen. I could make my stomach feel like it was coming up to my throat.

Posted: Apr 30th 2011 10:55AM Mogloth said

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Yes, I hate spiders. Part of playing a RPG or MMO is immersion. So, when I come across big spiders in game that have been created with realistic skins, it makes me cringe.
Because of immersion, I am picturing myself there. And when 'there' is standing in front of a big spider, that makes me cringe.
There is an area in LOTRO in Mirkwood: a spider cave. Turbine has a nasty habit of having spiders drop from the ceiling. And it never fails, I will have a spider drop on me right at the precise moment when it takes up 2/3 of my screen. Cringe.

Posted: Apr 30th 2011 11:03AM Bramen said

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Yes. MMOs play on my worst fears. I fear the education system world wide. The fear of the "dumb-ification" of our youth is played upon by every mmo out there.

Go into the public channel in any mmo and ask a simple question. You will get flamed, then some one will correct that person's grammar, using bad grammar themselves. Before you know it your simple "how to" question has turned into a conversation about sniffing farts.

I tremble.

Posted: May 2nd 2011 1:55AM PaterFrog said

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@Bramen
Don't forget the "phatz failz"!
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Posted: Apr 30th 2011 11:18AM Loopy said

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Worms and anything that slithers are my nemesis in real life. I can't stand them. Bugs and insects are fine (to a degree) but worms are just.. ugh.

I actually never thought i'd feel uneasy about anything in an MMO (even the room with upside down sinners in Kara was fine to watch), but when i was questing in Vashj'ir and i saw those sea snakes slithering around that shipwreck, i reaaaally did not want to finish that quest :).

Posted: Apr 30th 2011 11:19AM Tom in VA said

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I am generally pretty shy around other people in RL, and I guess that extends to MMOs, too, which is why I tend to play them (insofar as I am able) as online SPRPGs. I'm not sure if that qualifies as a genuine phobia or not, but there you have it. I especially don't like crowds (in games or in real life).

So, while I like the idea of being in a virtual game world with other people (most of whom are quite pleasant, really) and with a multiplayer economy, I'm really not much for grouping and/or interacting with other players in MMOs when it comes to questing.

Posted: Apr 30th 2011 11:46AM Kaoy said

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Yes. I too, like many others, fear that I might one day die and lose XP.

Posted: Apr 30th 2011 11:59AM trisnkh said

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Nope... its virtual.. although its like a second life in it...

Posted: Apr 30th 2011 12:41PM Beltyra said

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I shiver anytime there is a part in a video game that has heights and I could fall. If the game has 0 problems with me falling or I can fly, I'm fine, but if it means falling and death? Yeah, I'll probably shiver which moving through that part.

Posted: Apr 30th 2011 1:05PM PrimeSynergy said

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I guess you might say I have a slight case of arachnophobia.

LotRO

I would always try to get those quests over and done with asap lol. All those times you had to go into a spider lair and kill the 'big one,' I almost lost my freaking mind lol. It never made me stop playing or cry or anything like that though. It just made me REALLY uncomfortable.

Posted: Apr 30th 2011 5:20PM (Unverified) said

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@PrimeSynergy That's the same for me. Spiders are the only thing I can think of that I really fear, but it seems that I fear their appearance, not just their presence, because I cringe if I actually give one a close look. I play a hunter on WoW, and everyone always advised me to get a spider for my time spent PvPing, but I wasn't about to do that. Thankfully the new pet families have some overlapping abilities, so I can just choose a pet that stuns rather than one that roots.

The way I have learned to cope with in-game spiders is to look at something on the screen besides them, and if I don't focus on their GD horrifying legs, I'm fine. For example, in Naxxramas, I was always responsible for de-webbing the healers who stayed back with the ranged group during the spider boss (coincidentally, I never bothered to remember its name), so I just kept my camera kinda angled towards them, and everything went well.
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Posted: Apr 30th 2011 1:51PM Seldra said

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No I don't have any psychological fears but I have known people with acrophobia and they do have issues with the "Giant Spider" monsters so common in the genre. I feel bad for em.

Posted: Apr 30th 2011 2:44PM Randomessa said

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The only real-life fear of mine that MMOs play upon is my fear that most people in the world are like caged animals, only held at bay by the prospect of the harshest consequences for acting in a sociopathic way toward their fellow human beings.

Posted: Apr 30th 2011 6:36PM Graill440 said

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No title out there could say they activate my fantasy phobia button, there isnt a developer out there talented enough to do that.

Something really scary? Some idiot dev is going to use non encrypted safeguards allowing my information to be farmed freely always makes for a great escape session, no wait, thats already happened to folks.

Thats always a scary thought in the back of my mind that others will follow suit.

Posted: May 1st 2011 12:32AM (Unverified) said

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most people are afraid of dying. they QQ more after the wiped.

When I was a young cow, I am too afraid to go to the Barrens, because people says nasty things about that zone. I was escorted by a cool looking troll to Crossroad. Later I found out that troll is actually a 12 years old kid, and i'm in the middle of 30s. true story. geezus!

Posted: May 2nd 2011 2:09AM PaterFrog said

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I'd like to know whether Olivetti is generally talking about fears and phobia, or rather only phobia. Fears can be both rational and irrational, but don't force a loss of control on you. Phobia are extreme to an irrational level and can cause generally bad varying degrees of loss of control over yourself, usually a shock, then hyperventilating followed by unconsciousness. There are thousands of different phobia, but almost all of them share one thing, the people aren't actually so afraid of the subject, but of the loss of control, caused by encountering the subject of their particular fear.

I don't have any phobia myself and I don't know anything else about them, except you can train some sort of defense against the symptomes, like breathing techniques and stuff, so you won't actually pass out, even if the phobia itself isn't cured. Shock therapies are reported to be effective, but also extremely dangerous.

Well, I'd like to know what people experience with MMOs, when they encounter their trigger? Do the symptoms actually develope? Or is it actually just too abstract, being virtual and a game? Don't think so though.
Interesting topic, definitely.

BTW, Justin Olivetti, WTF did you think when you used the spider pic?!? How are you expecting to get people with arachnophobia, which is apparently the most common phobia, to comment?!
I beg you, change that pic. Please.

Posted: May 2nd 2011 11:07AM Djinn said

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Oh yes, a whole bunch of them. Probably the worst was the first time I was sneaking through a dungeon in DDO and my own shadow scared the pants off me. First time I had played a game with "realistic" shadows that move around with the different light sources to that extent.

But I also get nervous while swimming underwater - I hate seeing that breath bar going down. And climbing/jumping around high places. Yes its just pixels and dying isn't that big a deal but it still gets to me :)

And one of my favorite scary moments was my first time through the Old Forest in LotRO back in Beta. It was still scary then and I really appreciated that experience from the book.

Posted: May 3rd 2011 12:31AM Zenn said

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I can't remember exactly which game this was, but I freaked once when I had to do a quest which involved diving into some really deep lake, but in that lake were all sort of monsters and nasties.

The worst thing is just as you dive to the bottom this great big shark comes swimming by you and aggros you. It sure scared the hell out of me back then.

Posted: May 3rd 2011 2:59AM Space Cobra said

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You know, there isn't any real phobias that I may have in real life that scare/affect me in-game. I mean, I like to face my fears head-on and deal with them, even though I still have those fears; they don't seem to fully go away even if I face them repeatedly, but at lest I can face them.

I easily separate stuff, even if it may be distasteful. That's not to say, a moody game can't affect me, but I either dismiss it instantaneously or enjoy it and contemplate it after the play session.

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