Quest: Virtual Hallucinations

I came to this slurl/world and it was an interesting experience. This virtual world helps people understand different mental health issues through adding repeated, haunting, and repeating voices that are in the character’s head, constantly talking to him/her. There are different rooms in which the visitor can learn about different hallucinations and distortions in visual and audio perceptions and reality.

The voices have been interesting to explore in the beginning, but as they continued- same voice, same suicidal, self-degrading, scary thoughts, it was no more fun. To be honest, after spending some time exploring the island while hearing the same haunting voices I decided it might be time to go to bed without voices, and was quite afraid I would be starting to hear them in my sleep…

This was a strong experience overall. For educational purposes, these kinds of virtual worlds can be extremely helpful in getting students to understand other people’s experiences. Here are some examples I can think of:

  • Teaching users how people with dyslexia see letters, words, and pages. Having the user read a story while viewing it differently could be interesting.
  • Teaching users how musicians are able to “hear notes” when music is playing thereby being able to reproduce melodies.
  • Teaching users how people with special spatial awareness, such as architects visualize places, by seeing angles, 3D views, etc.

I will continue to think about how this world has influenced my thinking of the therapeutic or educational purposes these kinds of experiences can offer.