When it comes to horror games, the main goal is to scare the players. The recent controversy surrounding Lethal Company’s decision to add an option to disable spiders has sparked a debate about the boundaries of horror game design. On one hand, there is a need for accessibility and accommodating individual needs, but on the other hand, removing horror elements can dilute the essence of the game itself. Some argue that horror games should evoke fear and discomfort, as these emotions are inherent to the genre. Like riding a roller coaster, if it’s not scary, it doesn’t fulfill its purpose. However, others believe that incorporating players’ fears and phobias can make games more accessible and enjoyable for a wider audience.
The challenge lies in determining where to draw the line. If game developers start adding accessibility options for every phobia and fear, it could become overwhelming and diminish the original design considerations. There are also questions about which fears are considered important to accommodate and which are not.
While accessibility is important, it’s equally crucial for players to have a choice in the games they play. If a horror game includes elements that trigger personal phobias, it may be worth exploring other genres of games. Checking reviews and content warnings that may cause discomfort can provide valuable insights into potential content that might evoke distress.
Maintaining integrity as game creators is key. By adding the option to disable horror elements, developers risk compromising the very essence they worked hard on. However, it’s worth noting that accessibility options have long been present in games, catering to various needs such as colorblind modes or mouse inversion.
Ultimately, finding a balance between accessibility and maintaining the integrity of horror games is a challenging task. Game developers must consider the impact of their decisions on overall gameplay and whether accommodating specific fears aligns with the original vision. By incorporating accessibility, developers can expand their audience, but they must carefully navigate the boundaries of individual needs while preserving the essence of their games.