The aim of this project is to research the use of virtual reality and whether it is successful helping people overcome their fear of spiders. A realistic environment was created to heighten the immersion.
Arachnophobia VR is a virtual reality application that was developed in Unity3D using C# language, and SteamVR. The headset that was used is HTC Vive. Virtual Reality is a three-dimensional, computer generated environment which simulates a realistic experience through a headset. The key elements of a virtual reality experience are immersion, sensory feedback and interactivity. The application will test the user’s fear of spiders with the aim of helping people overcome their fear. The virtual environment is a basement which the user can explore and pick up objects such as torches, shovels and hammers. The objects are used to interact with spiders. The user has the ability to add spiders that spawn in random positions and size. The user can move around and interact with objects using the touchpad in the controller.
During the development of this project, I found that using virtual reality can help people overcome their phobia by providing a safe environment for the user to expose themselves in their fear. However, some users felt that the environment and spiders did not look real enough to make them feel anxious.