Spiders are a popular video game enemy that have the unfortunate side effect of triggering arachnophobia, a common fear. What’s a developer to do if their creative vision requires a big scary spider, but they don’t want to make their game unplayable to those who can’t stand the eight-legged little guys? Arachnophobia modes are not unprecedented; Grounded includes a whole slider that makes spiders increasingly less spider-y. But Lethal Company’s new arachnophobia mode offers an elegant solution that is making players marvel at the ingenuity.
Instead of replacing the spiders with orbs, removing them, or giving them a whole new model, developer Zeekerss found a clever alternative. Spiders are replaced with the word “spider,” which is nice, because you know exactly what you’re looking at.
lethal making a "arachnophobia mode" that just turns the spider into the WORD spider is the funniest shit ive seen from this game fuckk pic.twitter.com/ddA3ZdNLSb— kris / oliver - check pinned (@KILLCH0PDELUXE) December 10, 2023
Incredible stuff! The new arachnophobia mode does nothing to make the moons less deadly; you’re still probably going to die horribly while trying to scavenge enough scrap to pay the bills. But at the very least, you can rest assured knowing that you’ll die with dignity. Phobias and triggers are an underappreciated accessibility issue in gaming, and it’s very cool to see a developer tackle the problem with an unorthodox solution. I’m a big fan of the spider scuttling around a wall, so you can only see a menacing PIDER.
Lethal Company has blown up on Twitch and other social media platforms due to the ridiculousness of the gameplay. You can die in any manner of horrible ways, from being sucked up into a giant fan and turned to mist, to being mauled by a hideous beast. While the game is in the horror genre, it’s perfect at generating hijinks, which means that even those who don’t want to play it themselves might enjoy catching a stream. Now, even arachnophobes can get in on the fun — just keep an eye out for that menacing red text.