“Virtual reality is already used to treat post-traumatic stress disorder in soldiers – now it’s helping the victims of terrorist attacks
Researchers are carefully building virtual-reality versions of the Bataclan theatre and Paris streets to simulate the horrific attacks of last November. It’s not for some sick game, but to help victims suffering from post-traumatic stress syndrome (PTSD).
VR headsets are being used to treat a variety of psychological issues: to help people with autism train for stressful social situations, such as job interviews; to overcome phobias; and to reduce pain, particularly in people with severe burns, by distraction.
VR has been used to treat PTSD for more than a decade, the improvement and commercialisation of VR headsets of late has certainly helped, says Dr Albert “Skip” Rizzo, the director of medical virtual reality at the Institute for Creative Technologies at the University of Southern California.
Dr Rizzo is working with a consortium of European collaborators to build a virtual Paris scenario.
By Nicole Kobie at Alphr