The Oculus Rift is a virtual reality headset, and one of the most successful Kickstarter projects of all time. Still only available for preorder, actual sets have just been in the hands of big donors and some developers, but videos like the above have been making the rounds. Jacob facing his fear of roller coasters (otherwise awesomely known as veloxrotaphobia) via virtual reality got us thinking: The Oculus could be an amazing tool for therapists looking to change conditional responses to fearful stimuli. In other words: terrifying people with video games could be good for them!
Acrophobia: The Fear of Heights
Acrophobic folk have an irrational fear of high places. With the Oculus and games like GTA, players could virtually travel to high mountains and skyscrapers…and jump off of them! See, what’s there to be scared of? If you don’t deploy your parachute you’ll just respawn! (Warning: you will really just die.)
Hydrophobia: The Fear of Water
Echo the Dolphin, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, The Legend of Zelda: The Ocarina of Time…these are the games with perhaps the most irritating underwater levels of all time. Now just imagine tackling the Water Temple with a pair of VR goggles and a crippling fear of H20. Once a player scared of aqua can virtually conquer the gaming world’s toughest timed water levels, that backyard kiddie pool should be a cinch.
Trypanophobia: The Fear of Injections
Dead Space 2. You know what we’re talking about.
Pteromerhanophobia: The Fear of Flying
Microsoft Flight Simulator
, there are a host of titles that put players in cockpits, giving those with a fear of flying a sense of control that they’ll probably never have in a cramped cabin. A few hours of doing barrel rolls in
and Pteromerhanophobes will happily contort themselves into awful positions for hours in economy class – just like the rest of us!
Agoraphobia: The Fear of the Outside
Okay…maybe there are some phobias the Oculus can’t help with.