Do you ever get anxious or scared of heights in video games (including VR)

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Topcyclist

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Poll Do you ever get anxious or scared of heights in video games (including VR) (44 votes)

yes 36%
no 32%
Sometimes 39%
None of the above 0%

Been polling questions that I've been pondering over from discussions. Lately, the topics kinda got too...heavy so I decided to ask something personal for me. After playing Last of Us 2, in "that" section of the game, I noticed for once, that the height actually made me feel scared just as the character did. I don't know if I was just engrossed in the story, dialogue, acting, graphics, or If I really got scared, but when I felloff I skipped a beat. Assassins creed games have taught me it's fine to fall from great heights, jump between buildings, etc in videogames. Swinging in spiderman is pleasant and relaxing. But sometimes, heights can be scary, especially for people like me who have a real-life fear of them. Does anyone else get afraid of heights in games. Is it something we should be warning people about, like graphic violence, jump scares, or cursing, or is it a nonissue?

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Nodima

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Only when falling. I can get as high as I want in a game and look as far down as I want, but the moment I fall off of something (and, crucially, can't stop the fall) my stomach ties up in knots, though more in a rollercoaster way than actual terror way.

Pretty happy about it, too, because at work we sometimes need to climb a 10-12 foot ladder to change out lightbulbs and I'm so incapable of doing it that I break out in nervous sweats just watching people do it. I'm also notoriously annoying at rooftop parties.

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ThatPainting

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I can get a bit of a tingly, uneasy feeling from a large fall in games when I'm controlling the character, but never when watching others or looking over an edge myself.
I haven't tried any kind of heights stuff in VR and am positive that it would freak me right out, given that I have a real-world fear of heights.

At least personally, I don't think there needs to be warnings if content has common phobias, I get really uncomfortable around insects and that can sometimes occur when watching something, but it's never been so bad that it's ruined my day or anything, not as bad as other trigger warnings.

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brian_

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#4  Edited By brian_

Looking up at a tall building is usually what gets my anxiety/vertigo (? I don't know what it is exactly. I'm not a doctor.) going in real life, and I've only experienced this in VR once, watching a video of a rocket launch, in which you get a close up shot of the rocket pre-launch, and I tried to look up. I've never come across this in a game though.

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Topcyclist

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@thatpainting: Yeah, I guess a trigger warning was a bit much on my part. Just some shower thoughts I wanted to see a consensus on. I personally like horror games for trying to scare me, and think thats the point so do what you must while i play your 5 hour game in bit sized scaredy cat chunks. VR isn't so bad, but it could depend on the quality of the VR. I know most people who try VR swing at the giant dog thing in the VR demo for the last guardian. Some things like looking over a badly rendered building wont work. But put you over a situation where its well done and you feel a bit of the shock. Last of Us was the only real time I got the feeling of nervousness and I think its just the engrossing plot/set piece.

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FacelessVixen

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Heights? No. But ladders in real life can go fuck themselves.

Being underwater both in games in both swimming pools, Mario 64, and Banjo Kazooie was the stuff of nightmares as a kid, and I'm sure that the seven-year-old me would lose his shit while being underwater in VR.

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Pezen

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I have a complex relationship with heights that at times seem contradictory. In games I rarely get anxious with heights because either there is no real sense of depth to the distance because everything is in focus or because it's so divorced from my sense of things because I am looking at a screen and there's a disconnect there. However, while hunting for a treasure in Assassin's Creed 2 inside the Cathedral of Florence you are tasked to climb up inside the the place. At a certain level of that cathedral the way the light was put in there made me super aware of how far down it was and I actually got the same feeling as I do when I stand on a chair or at the edge of a tall cliff. I felt the height in a way I rarely do in video games, even in Assassin's Creed jumping from tall buildings never really illicted that respons. But inside that place I certainly did and it was pretty fun all things considered.

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Justin258

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Heights? No. But ladders in real life can go fuck themselves.

Being underwater both in games in both swimming pools, Mario 64, and Banjo Kazooie was the stuff of nightmares as a kid, and I'm sure that the seven-year-old me would lose his shit while being underwater in VR.

You could always play Subnautica in VR!

I have felt some vertigo when purposefully jumping off a large building or something, but it's not like a lot, just a little.

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fisk0

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#9  Edited By fisk0  Moderator

I'll abstain from voting until I've actually used VR. I don't like heights in real life, so I could see getting a bad reaction in VR, but since I've never tried it, I don't know.

No non-VR games have really given me that reaction, the only game I've seen where I've even thought they managed to evoke the sense of height was in Mirror's Edge, but it was still not convincing enough for me to get any kind of vertigo.

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zimzamfromspace

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I've been replaying Red Dead Redemption 2 after bailing on it when it came out, and the scene near the start when you rescue John kinda triggered that feeling I get near a huge drop IRL, but like not too severely. Usually games don't do that for me, but I felt it then.

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FacelessVixen

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@nexivselecaf said:

Heights? No. But ladders in real life can go fuck themselves.

Being underwater both in games in both swimming pools, Mario 64, and Banjo Kazooie was the stuff of nightmares as a kid, and I'm sure that the seven-year-old me would lose his shit while being underwater in VR.

You could always play Subnautica in VR!

At this point in my life, the VR experience that I'm the most fearful of is Koikatsu Party.

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vaiz

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I still get that falling feeling in my stomach when I jump off the tallest building that I can climb when playing any given Spider-Man game. Which means I do it a lot BECAUSE IT'S THE ONLY WAY I CAN STILL FEEL.

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Ryuku_Ryosake

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Fairly terrified of heights in real life. Absolutely despise the feeling of falling. You can sometimes force me onto a roll coaster but I will not enjoy a single second of it basically just torture the entire time. I've liked horror since I was tiny so I like a good spook but really having none of it when it comes to heights.

In games, certain big drops can definitely trigger that sense of falling in me. I guess that it literally a vertigo response. Get me just as bad as when I dream about falling from a high place. I also seems to vary depending on their particular physics models. Some games won't get me at all, while others will constantly get me. I don''t have really any VR experience with this but I'm sure they would get me good.

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development

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Only when there is a very real chance I can fall and die and lose progress, or where the footing is uneasy / I'm not confident in my ability to keep going or make it back down safely. There's a bit in the slept-on game Hellpoint where you (optionally) slowly find your way up the main atrium zone, jumping from ladder to ladder, walkway to parapet, etc. At one point you go up into a narrow area at the end of the climb, which means, since it's narrow, that if you fall you can't use momentum or air-control to find your way to a ledge; any fall becomes the drop from The Eyrie in GoT. Just typing that up made my palms sweaty. That segment actually gives me vertigo to a degree.

Assassin's Creed, on the other hand, manages to make crazy heights feel about as detached from reality as you can get. There's no point where I don't feel like my character will lock onto something like they're on rails if I fall. The hay-drops are even worse. The forced-fov increase and the inability to actually aim your body on your own gives the moment zero gravity, no pun intended.

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Jarp12

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Underwater makes me anxious. Deep water.

In Mario 64 the part going after the giant Eel was my first experience with underwater anxiety. Currently it's Minecraft and No Man's Sky. I can't do underwater in games. Subnautica was a waking nightmare for me.

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Brendan

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I chose no although the most accurate answer would be "barely and rarely". I just completed shadow of the tomb raider since it was a free PS Plus game a few months back. There's one particular section where you fall, not into the abyss, but far enough that you break your leg with the video continuing to show you being mauled to death by wolves. That was a little messed up as the newer tomb raider games often are but I don't think I've ever felt anxious in a real way. I do not have a crippling fear of heights and can do things like ropes courses, zip lines, and indoor rock climbing and enjoy them; watching movies and videos where people have no safety mechanism and are in a perilous situation gives me that pins and needles feeling in my legs which I hate. The idea of free climbing in real life gives me this feeling of dread.

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The_Ruiner

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#17  Edited By The_Ruiner

Depends on the game and the consequences of falling.

In Dark Souls? Absolutely.

In Spider-Man: Miles Morales? Not so much.

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I've been playing VR modded GTA 5 in first person and trying to convince my body and mind that I'd be okay jumping from the top of a scyscraper was a pretty harrowing experience.

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Zelyre

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#19  Edited By Zelyre

Heights in real life terrify me - I had to very much internalize how some rides at Disney World work or I'd nope out despite them all being pretty mild. Tower of Terror? That thing can go to hell.

Heights, not so much in video games. There's a sense of scale and movement that's unrealistic - though in slower, more methodical games, I do sometimes get butterflies in my stomach during drops.

VR? That's a pretty different story. There's a sense of deliberate movement and scale - combine this with me using a Quest wirelessly and it's really easy to get pulled in to something like Half Life Alyx. My wife has black mail video of me crawling around, Solid Snake style as I crawl under partially shut doors or low pipes.

Anyways, there are a few areas in Alyx where you overlook immense drops. My brain does -not- like these. There have been two to three areas where I simply can't proceed unless she's there in the room with me, or I have to nope out.