The latest episode of Designing Worlds – a visit to Virtual Health Adventures, a fascinating academic project in Second Life offering very practical help to a disadvantaged community, people who have undergone a real life amputation of at least one upper or lower limb – is now on the web.
The project is assessing the effectiveness of delivering healthcare through a virtual world environment by working with amputees to explore ways of best helping them adjust to the changes in their lives, and working with prosthetic limbs. The project in the real world and in Second Life is led by Dr Sandra Winkler at the Nova Southeastern University, and is funded by an Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Grant, in association with the Veterans Agency and Virtual Ability, a nonprofit based within Second Life.
Dr Winkler, together with Jim, who is one of the amputees who has been a client on the program, and Eme Capalini, who is the chief builder on the two Virtual Health Adventures islands, give us a guided tour of the islands, and an insight into how the project has worked. The data is not yet final, but we discuss some of the anecdotal evidence that has emerged.