VR is not only great for gaming, movies or porn. Australian psychologists want to use virtual reality to teach people how to question negative thinking. Journalist Jennifer Nadeau can no longer leave the house because of migraine attacks. Excursions into virtual reality give her new courage. In an online article she writes why the medium is more to her than just a virtual reality or a waste of time.
In her medium article, Nadeau alludes to a difficult childhood marked by traumas, anxiety and depression. Even then, video games and virtual worlds helped her to concentrate on tasks and achieve goals.
The young woman is currently in a state of mental emergency that has lasted six months. A chronic migraine and severe pain make it impossible for her to lead a normal life. As soon as she prepares to make plans, the headaches start and Nadeau is forced to stay within her own four walls. She is also tired and physically weak due to the strong medication.
Virtual Reality as a painless substitute for life
The only thing that would have saved her was the distraction that Virtual Reality offers her, writes Nadeau, referring to her Oculus Quest.
“I actually bought her for games, but what I experienced in two days with VR glasses gave me hope and grounded my brain a little bit. Nadeau describes how Virtual Reality refreshed their senses and distracted them from negative thoughts and symptoms. Last weekend she visited a dance festival in Cuba, stomped through quiet forests, meditated with a panda, solved puzzles and played sports outside with real friends – purely virtually, of course. “Although I am locked up in my house, I lived a rich life,” writes Nadeau.
A normal life is a privilege
The journalist wants to explain why Virtual Reality for her is more than just a virtual reality or even a waste of time.
People who don’t have a lot of pain and can do what they want could think that, says Nadeau. They are thus biased against technology. “They can’t know what it means to really want to do something with friends or family, but physically not be able to do it,” writes Nadeau.
In the travel app Wander (Test), she travelled virtually to Montreal, where she had the best holiday of her life in spring. This filled her with good memories, hope and enthusiasm, without causing headaches. “Virtual Reality may not seem like ‘real life’ to some people, but if real life hurts, isn’t it better to have something that resembles a normal life?