I'm having a quiet long weekend, and so I've been on a bit of a game binge the last couple of days. This may have been a bad idea, as my shoulder now hates me.
I have another guest review up on Game people, for Endless Ocean 2.
Yes, I really am afraid of the ocean. I quite enjoyed writing about that. Thinking about it now, I suppose I'm interested in the relationship between games and fear. Not so much intentionally scary games, but how elements in games relate to facing fears. Is a virtual world an easier place to deal with things? I suppose Endless Ocean 2 is an example where this applies for me, though I wouldn't say it made me any more likely to seek out ocean experiences in the real world.
I suppose in this case I am using a game to substitute for the real thing, rather than as a transitional stage. I don't think that has to be a terrible thing. And it doesn't mean I couldn't use a game as a stepping stone if I really wanted to overcome a fear. I could argue I successfully used World of Warcraft as a social training ground, though progress there is always ongoing. There is no "quick fix" a lot of the time, and games are only one part of a much larger story.