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Poisons may include:
- Venoms - injected into the body by insect stings or animal bites
- Toxins - natural poisons found in toxic mushrooms, berries, animals or rotten food, include strongest poisons known
- Poisonous gas or environments
- Inorganic poisons - like arsenic
- Radiation - coming from microwaves or radioactivity, bright light
- Soundwaves - explosions, flash-bang grenades. Even though not a poison per se, effects are similar and also part of toxicology.
The virtual world can be a hostile place filled with poisonous pits, plants, mushrooms and animals.
Effects of poisoning in games show as a change of skin color, vignetting, blurred or doubled vision, slowed perception of time, obstructed movement, loss of consciousness and ultimately loss of life.
Examples of Interesting Game Mechanics Resulting from Simulation of Real Poisoning
Exposure to poisons is either acute like the bite of a snake or chronic like the long term effects of radiation from nuclear fallout inside the Zone around Chernobyl. Radiation poisoning can also be acute like the microwave tunnel in Metal Gear Solid 4 or hard gamma and X-rays in proximity to a reactor.
Neurotoxins are often utilized to increase the lethal effects of ranged weapons like blow darts or they are administered stealthily via. syringe.
To counteract toxic effects health potions or antidotes are available. Eastern European franchises like S.T.A.L.K.E.R. and The Witcher prominently use alcohol as both an intoxicating agent and an antidote.
Even though classically "only the dose makes a thing not a poison", not many games make use of this fundamental principle.