Horror game enthusiast and gadget aficionado Terry Fielding was ecstatic to receive his Oculus Quest 2 last weekend, the married father of three finally being able to envelop himself fully in his current favorite pastime, Phasmophobia. Yet as Terry anticipated the scares that would await this new immersive experience, he never predicted what would invoke the greatest fear—his daughter tapping him on the shoulder to tell him dinner is ready.
“The event when a ghost becomes active is already a nerve wracking experience,” says a shell-shocked Terry, who clearly hasn’t played the game long enough to give a shit about anything but hunts. “And that sense of doom is increased tenfold when the screams of my angry wife cuts through my Bose QuietComfort headphones. It becomes increasingly more difficult to hide from the demon when that nag’s amplified demands to ‘get off that fucking game’ gets picked up by the ghost’s voice proximity detection.”
The sole developer for Kinetic Games has stated that these kinds of outside interruptions were considered when programming the game for virtual reality hardware. “The VR headset not only engrosses the player in the virtual haunted houses, but it’s a scientific fact the sight of a terrified person wearing the full VR getup will draw others to pester and antagonize them further. Truly, the sense of fight-or-flight cannot be replicated better than a pesky little brother or cheeky significant other spooking a pathetic-looking victim with a small television strapped to their head.”
In Terry’s opinion, this philosophy of game design is almost too effective. “I can’t play this game in peace anymore! Everytime I start a hunt, I never know when I’ll be humiliated by my own family. My wife screams. My children poke and laugh at me. Even my grandmother whispers into my ear to scare me, which is even more horrifying considering my grandmother has been dead for five years.”
This possibly otherworldly interaction is still only the second most horrid thing to happen to Terry in his Oculus guise. He admits the most alarming encounter still goes to the time his wife walked in on him playing Onahole Companion.
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