Full Spectrum Warrior Used to Help Iraq War Veterans

After returning from combat, soldiers often have a hard time dealing with their memories of war. Psychologist Skip Rizzo, a research scientist at the University of Southern California’s Institute for Creative Technologies, is working to help Iraq veterans deal with their memories through the use of a reconfigured version of Full Spectrum Warrior. He hopes that the game will allow soldiers to deal with their post-traumatic stress by experiencing their painful memories through the virtual world.

Rizzo’s system is currently in use in Atlanta, Georgia; Little Rock, Arkansas; and Camp Pendleton in South California. The system uses video game graphics and a virtual-reality headset attached to a military helmet to recreate the experience of Iraq. The therapist controls the scenes which can go from peaceful to chaotic. Patients walk or drive through the virtual world.

"This technology is so new," stated Rizzo. "I think we’re at the beginning of the cutting edge in understanding how this could have an impact on human behavior for a good purpose: healing people."

by lindsay
08/18/2006 12:35PM

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