Arachnophobia Therapy Through Oculus Rift
Along with video games, creative apps, business apps and the like, developers have been trying to use virtual reality to aid in the therapy of various anxiety disorders. Most of these apps are built to target a multitude of fearful feelings.
A new application has recently been launched that targets a specific fear instead of a whole group of disordered behavior in response to anxiety. This application has been titled ‘Arachnophobia’ which means ‘fear of spiders’. Arachnophobia is a very common everyday fear among most of us. The app is compatible with Oculus Rift’s virtual reality headset along with the second development kit (DK2). As is obvious from the name, Arachnophobia targets people with this fear and hopes to help them gain some measure of control over it using systematic desensitization techniques. The application has been developed and launched by Ignis VR. The whole goal of the app is to coax people with Arachnophobia to step out of their comfort zones to try and tackle this serious issue.
The game’s introductory screen begins with the protagonist sitting at a desk with his or her hands straight out in front. The view from the apartment is of Central Park in New York. The player is able to move his head and look in both left and right directions. There will be a jar placed on the desk which will hold a large spider. The spider will be moving around inside the jar but there’s no need to panic yet, the jar will be shown as a locked one – with the spider trapped inside. After that, the protagonist will be able to increase and decrease the level of exposure to the spiders. This can be done using the sheet of paper laid out on the desk which will have markers that can be used easily due to the head tracking technology of Oculus Rift’s headset.
The second level in Arachnophobia adds two more spiders to the jar while the third one will set the spiders free and they will slowly start crawling around on the desk. The fourth level moves the bigger spider dangerously close to where your arms are placed on the table. The fifth and final level involves a multitude of spiders crawling all over the desk and your skin. Creepy but supposedly it’s also effective. Arachnophobia is available for download on the Oculus Share website and has also been launched in a PC version. Virtual Reality Times will follow the progress of Arachnophobia and update you with further details.