Arachnophobia

Virtual Reality Exposure Therapy

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In this VR experience

You will find yourself sitting at a desk in a small apartment looking out over central park New York. When you look down you will see your arms flat on the table and you can look left and right over your own virtual shoulders.

On the table you will see a jar with a big spider in it. The spider will move a bit and will look alive. You will probably be happy it is safely locked in the jar. But do not be scared .. your antidote is within reach!!!

You are able to increase and decrease the exposure level of spiders by looking at the markers on a piece of paper in front of you. The following levels will be available:

  1. 1 spider safely locked in a jar.
    It moves a bit, looks a bit fuzzy.
  2. 3 spiders, still locked in a slightly bigger jar
    3 little creepy moving spiders. Looks like they want to get out.
  3. 2 spiders moving across the table
    Is it gonna bite you?
  4. More spiders moving over the table
    The big one dangerously close to your arms?
  5. Lots of spiders everywhere…
    We can not take any responsibility!

Do you dare to enter ?!

Applied virtual reality

Virtual Reality Exposure Therapy is a  application of virtual reality within the field of health & psychology.

Exposure therapy is a form of psychological therapy where a patient, who has some irrational fear about an object or situation, is gradually exposed (also called systematic desensitization) to the object or situation that causes his or her’s phobic anxiety. By gradually feeding and increasing exposure to the patient, he or she ‘learns’ that the fears are irrational and how to deal with the object or situation of his or her phobia.

Exposure therapy that is done in reality is called ‘In-Vivo’. Academic research has proven that virtual reality exposure therapy can be as effective as exposure therapy in-vivo when the virtual reality experience is truly immersive and generates enough anxiety within the phobic patient.

Instructions

This demo is best viewed in a sitting position. For a better immersive experience, the virtual visitor must lay his or her arms in front on the table. This way , looking down to your virtual arms and feeling them actually on the table will give you the feeling you are looking at your own arms and increase the immersiveness of the experience.

Comfort :

This demo has a LOW RISK of virtual reality motion sickness.
When you really hate spiders you will probably feel uncomfortable, but that is the purpose 😉

Stereoscopic demo footage


System requirements

  • Medium/high end VR focused computer
  • Intel i5-4590 +
  • 8GB RAM, 350MB disk space
  • DX9/DX11 Graphics Card ( NVIDIA GTX 970 +)
  • Oculus Rift HMD for DK2 version
  • OpenVR supported HMD

Where to get

SteamVR version ( HTC Vive / Oculus Rift CV1 ) available on steam




3 comments

  1. Posted on Jun 11, 2014 at 8:03 PM

    If you have any comments, feedback about improvements or whishes
    … do not hesitate and give us your comments!

    reply
  2. Posted on Jun 11, 2014 at 8:56 PM

    yikes ! spiders !

    reply
  3. Borgia
    Posted on Aug 29, 2014 at 2:24 PM

    Great. I love spiders, but my wife has a big anachnophobia, so i’ll try to help her with this demo.

    I have a great phobia to needles. So big, that when i go to the doctor to a rutinary blood test sometime i barely lose consciousness, so if you someday make a blood test simulator, keep me update.

    Thanks.

    (Sorry for my english).

    reply

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