Saturday, November 7, 2009

A disturbing experience in Second Life

I had a very intense, disturbing experience in Second Life last night.

I went to see the Virtual Hallucination simulation that has been developed by UC Davis. It has been designed to give us a better understanding of what it feels like to have schizophrenia. Based on the stories of two people who have schizophrenia, it aims to provide an auditory and visual experience that simulates how schizophrenics see and hear the world.

To my mind this is the most powerful teaching/learning experiences in Second Life - it moved and disturbed me. If you have any interest in mental health, especially if you are a health professional working in the area I would recommend you visit this place. But be warned that it is an intense experience.

If you cannot access Second Life, have a look at this video which will give you a feel for the place.


Martin Jorgensen said...

Agreed, it's a very disturbing experience. Those people afflicted with this illness, that are able to have some semblance of a normal life, are quite amazing.

Sarah Stewart said...

I totally agree. This SL Build has given me an appreciation I never had before-I wish I had this knowledge and appreciation when I worked as a student nurse an an acute psychiatric ward years ago.

M-H said...

This is an excellent idea for the use of second life in education - to give students an experience they can't have (and you wouldn't want them to have to have!) any other way.

Sarah Stewart said...

Mind you, M-H, you can provide that experience other ways...say with a tape recorder and headphones but SL adds an immersive, visual aspect. For midwifery students I'd like to take this resource and develop it as a post partum psychosis scenario - this doesn't happen very often, thank goodness, but when it does, the midwife has to be on the ball.

Anonymous said...

It was very scary and intense;
but it gave some info about severe
mental illness. It must be horrible.

For sensitive people -like me- experience can be almost too much!

Sarah Stewart said...

Good point, Peony...important to prepare students before walking though this resource.