Our editors have repeatedly written about how many opportunities are hidden in computer games, the scope of which stretches beyond recreational forms and even reaches as far as medicine.
For example, a group of scientists from Oxford University have discovered that therapy, including VR games, is helping people gain self-confidence and cope with agoraphobia, which is a fear of open spaces.
VR games designed for these patients start in a virtual psychotherapist's office. Players must complete certain tasks, such as making eye contact with certain characters or asking for a glass of water. All game scenarios are as close to reality as possible. However, they are computer-generated depending upon the difficulty level chosen by the participant. Furthermore, all game scenarios aim to persuade the person to try a different approach to a situation or with other people. According to Professor Daniel Freeman, who leads the experiment, "if you can handle something in VR, you can handle it in the real world."
A total of 346 patients with varying psychological problems participated in the experiment: 172 underwent traditional therapy, and 174 also had VR therapy to supplement it. The VR session lasted 30 minutes, and each session was attended by a psychiatric staff member. According to the results, those receiving VR therapy experienced slightly decreased agoraphobia and stress in just six weeks. However, the differences between the two groups were completely eradicated after only six months of the experiment.
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