Spiders are great! One of nature’s most brilliant organisms, they’re a marvel of natural selection on multiple legs. I’d quickly change my tune if I were to hit with a shrink ray and came eye to eye-to-eye-to-eye-to-eye-to-eye-to-eye-to-eye-to-eye with an arachnid, as the idea of being hunted by one of these creatures is one nightmare that I’d genuinely like to wake up from.
For other people, they can’t even stomach the idea of a regular spider. Genuine fear grips them, they live each day armed with a rolled up newspaper and they dread any new Marvel movie featuring a certain friendly neighbourhood wallcrawler. Obsidian’s new RPG Grounded happens to feature that scary scenario in amplified form, but chill! If you want to play that game and not have to worry about how far you’ll get while you’re curled up in a corner, good news! Grounded’s arachnophobia accessibility should sort you out.
Over on the Xbox Wire, Obsidian communications director Mike Dowling detailed how their study into arachnophobia resulted in the game menu featuring a slider that you could use to transform spiders into harmless blobs of not-pure-terror-incarnate:
Some of these dangers include an array of hostile spiders, which present a regular threat to surviving the backyard. However, the team behind Grounded considered that some players might have a potential fear of spiders and experience a negative reaction to their appearance in the game, so Obsidian worked closely with the Xbox Research team to explore what triggers arachnophobia.
During their study, fear, and disgust increased across all respondent groups as spider textures, number of eyes, and audio effects were added. The findings from Xbox Research helped determine the best form for spiders to take in the game, while also deciding how to vary their appearance depending on the severity of the phobia. This resulted in the game’s Arachnophobia Mode, where players can alter the appearance of spiders and limit their audio effects, helping to make the game more accessible for everyone.
Well that’s just adorable. Grounded is currently out in early access form on Xbox One, and I wish I could turn my greatest fears in life into harmless blobs. Is…is that the sound of a clown car I hear? OH NO BRO.
Last Updated: July 29, 2020