Not Just About Games… Is it?

I mentioned before in a previous post, how I first became interested in virtual reality because of my friend’s interest. He became interested in VR through a video that explained how games would be experienced in a completely different way from the way they are now. Fast forward years later, I find a video called, “Can a video game end pain?”, produced by Inside Science, relating to VR that discusses how virtual reality can be used to help treat patients, specifically those whom are being treated for burns. The virtual reality is emulated to be a game called Snow World, where they can throw snowballs at a multitude of different objects and animals.

Credit: Inside Science

I used to think that VR only benefited games, however now I know that it also benefits other subjects like the medical and social media fields.

And Another One

In a blog by Romeo Vitelli titled ‘Can Virtual Reality Help With Pain?’, Vitelli goes more in-depth on how exactly VR is aiding in medical efforts, “Along with the sheer expense associated with treatment and lost productivity [of many different pain related injuries]… the risk of addiction… [is also present when using medication]” meaning that medical procedures now present a problem with their high expenses and risk of being addicted to the medication used (Romeo Vitelli). While virtual reality “is hardly likely to wean pain patients off of the need for medication”, the patient will not be ‘addicted’ to the virtual reality distraction provided to them, showing no risk during usage unlike the medication used.

KLAN MCKELLAR / CREATIVE COMMONS

Vitelli goes further to discuss how, “With realistic VR simulations, people suffering from crippling anxiety… can learn to overcome their fears through simulated exposure…” which means that certain people who may suffer an anxiety attack when in a certain situation can learn to cope in these situations through repeated trial and error scenarios.

This tells me that virtual reality treatments can not only help treat people with physical injuries, but VR can help treat those with psychological injuries as well.

How Does this Advance Social Media?

Good question. In a recent video about the Oculus Rift demo where Mark Zuckerberg showed off the Oculus Rift and what he hopes to be the future of online meet ups. The video portrays a cartoonish avatar version of your real self, including facial expressions, bodies, hair, and more. You are even able to ‘change’ the location where your avatars meet (in realtime if you want to), play games with each other, even answer calls while in VR.

Credit: CNET

Virtual reality, at least in Mark Zuckerberg’s goal for social media, is to combine a multitude of different tasks into one easy to navigate system that feels more interactive in a way that virtual reality can only provide.

Virtual Reality Isn’t a One-Trick Pony

Some of my previous posts mention more fields where virtual reality has made an impact in them for the better. All of this stemmed from the first video I watched about how virtual reality was used to help treat patients undergoing medical procedures to treat their burns. I’m sure that in the coming weeks, if not months and years, there will be much more topics to write about where virtual reality will positively aid in advancing.

Your Oculus Avatar Can Pull a Sword out of Thin Air and Take a VR Selfie (CNET News). CNET, 6 Oct. 2016, www.youtube.com/watch?v=s2U9lXEnHns. Accessed 10 Apr. 2017.

Vitelli, Romeo. “Can Virtual Reality Help With Pain?” Can Virtual Reality Help With Pain?, Psychology Today, 28 Sept. 2016, www.psychologytoday.com/blog/media-spotlight/201609/can-virtual-reality-help-pain. Accessed 10 Apr. 2017.

Can a Video Game End Pain? Inside Science, 1 June 2016, www.youtube.com/watch?v=zpaTsG0sRz4. Accessed 10 Apr. 2017.

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