A Guide To Finding The Courage To Play Resident Evil 7

The good news is out there: the new demo for Resident Evil 7 is now playable on PC. Because it's a demo, of course it's absolutely free, but that hasn't immediately translated to everyone playing it. The problem is it's terrifying. Even if you remove the cost of a strenuous experience, that doesn't mean people will line up.

And this isn't Resident Evil 7's fault – they set out to make a terrifying game and, by all accounts, have succeeded. So what is stopping us from downloading that small demo (about 1GB), and hitting that little blue "Play" button? And assuredly this will affect people once the full game comes out.

For anyone who has played Starcraft II, this will feel all too familiar. Starcraft II had a very well-documented phenomenon called Ladder Anxiety – the crippling fear of ever entering a 1v1 game online that will count toward your ladder ranking. Similarly, PC players are now experiencing Resident Evil 7 Anxiety. Fortunately, you can use a lot of the same techniques to deal with either ailment.

  • For instance, you can do drink something that takes the edge off, such as tea or even a soda (although beware of caffeine or anything other drink that can put you even more on edge).
  • It's important to remember that anxiety is inside your head, so, if you're playing the game and thinking about scary stuff, look around the room and read things you see, such as book titles, movie posters or junk mail on your desk. This will get your mind off the manufactured threat of harm.
  • Play intermittently. Don't push yourself too much, as periods of elevated blood pressure and stress can actually harm you. Play for an hour or so, and stop as soon as you feel you need a break. Then you can go back to the game on your own terms. This is how I played through Outlast. Make sure to decompress with something more relaxing like a shower or being interrogated.
  • Convince yourself that the alternative is worse. In Starcraft II it was either ladder or stay in Bronze league for the rest of my life. The choice was clear. With Resident Evil 7, it's likely that everyone will be playing or talking about this game. Do you really want to be left out of the conversation because you couldn't muster up the courage to hit the button? More than that, it's likely this game could have a huge cultural impact, being billed as the rebirth of a beloved horror franchise. That sounds like a lot to miss out on.
  • Imagine the worst-case scenario and examine how it's not so bad. With games like Outlast and Resident Evil 7, worst case: your character dies a horrible, violent death. What does this mean for you? Likely a burst of adrenaline from your brain's fight-or-flight response. Your reflexes will become sharper, and you'll be able to handle more stressful situations. Then, you'll respawn at the last checkpoint and be all the more prepared to face the dangers lurking.

Hopefully these tips will help. If you find the courage to play this demo once, play it again and again until you know it like the back of your hand. This will make you so familiar with the game and all its trappings that you will be well-prepared once Jan. 24 comes around.


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