Therapy and the metaverse

Mark Kizelshteyn (SL: Chronos Laval) is a virtual world researcher and one of two principals at virtual worlds developer Popcha!. As part of his recent university studies he completed a paper called Therapy and The Metaverse: Second Life and The Changing Conditions of Therapy For Convalescent and Chronically Ill Users, which will be published in Washington University’s Undergraduate Research Digest – you can download the full article here.

popcha

Kizelshteyn will be discussing his work in Second Life on January 22nd between 1 and 2 pm SLT / PST (8am Friday 23rd January AEDST), with John Lester (Pathfinder Linden) launching proceedings. The venue will Popcha! headquarters. If you’d like to attend you’ll need to RSVP to Chronos Laval in Second Life. The paper itself is a useful overview of what virtual worlds like Second Life offer in regards to engagement, a sense of community and the ability to experience presence in ways that may not be feasible in real-life for people with chronic illnesses. The case study in the article (Amy the DJ) is well encapsulated and illustrates the power of the interaction in Second Life really well.

There’s no dearth of health research going on and even broad articles like this illustrate the depth of work going on. With virtual world development businesses realising the potential in the market, there’s also a growing realisation whilst that rigour in approach to development for health presences needs to mirror the discipline applied to health endeavours themselves.

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