I don’t know when it started. It might have been when I was four or five years old and tried to drink from an outside tap. I turned it on, put my mouth down to drink, and a big black spider crawled out from the faucet. That could have been it, or it could have been any one of a hundred childhood traumas with those evil critters. I mean eight legs? Yeech!
And of course there was the time I reached down for the gate latch and felt the furry body of the fellow in the picture. I jumped like it was voltage. He wasn’t so happy either, and climbed on top of the gate post and raised his front legs at me aggressively.
Why do I tell you about my (not so) secret fear?
Well, I’m not so freaked out by spiders anymore. Sure I still can’t really stand them, and reach for the spray when a big one decides to crawl across the wall or the ceiling toward me. But I don’t have the crawling feeling of revulsion anymore.
I put a lot of this down to the last few years of gaming.
After all who hasn’t had to make quest progress by killing thousands of the eight legged freaks? How many dungeons have web lined tunnels straight out of some game designers coffee enhanced, pizza fueled imagination have all of us ventured down?
They do say that the best way to defeat your fears is to face them. So hows this for a theory. Running spider infested quests is therapy for arachnophobes. That those who play these games reduce their fears.
Why do I say this?
Well I just saw a post on RPS about a mod for Skyrim where the spiders are replaced by other less limbed critters like bears (although there is a crab mod apparently so the number of limbs remains the same, but crabs aren’t so creepy. Perhaps it’s because we eat them.)
Way to go modders. Giving arachnophobic gamers a way to escape much needed therapy. For shame.