Monday, February 19, 2007

Soldiers learn their moves in a 'virtual war'

Both The Guardian - Virtual war helps US soldiers deal with trauma - and the BBC - Virtual treatment for US troops - are commenting upon a "virtual Iraq" simulation that allows soldiers to re-live and confront psychological trauma. The immersive system combines realistic street scenes, sounds and odours to allow patients to relive traumatic events in a controlled environment:

The treatment is a more powerful version of imagination therapy, a traditional technique in which a therapist asks a patient to imagine scenarios connected with a traumatic event. With the software technique, patients talk through their trauma with a therapist while wearing goggles that immerse them in a virtual reality battlefield. The therapist can increase the strength of the scenario by adding elements such as roadside bombs or attacks by insurgents.

An instance where the virtual world is coming into its own in terms of complementing how to deal with certain physical situations.

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