The Role of Avatars in Telemental Health: An Introduction to Virtual World Interventions, Gamer Therapy and Virtual Immersion Therapy
This 15-hour online course examines the psychological and cultural aspects of avatar identities. We will take a look at the theoretical underpinnings of avatar lifestyles and how avatars can impact the therapeutic process. In this course, the following topics are covered:
The Cyberculture of Virtual Living
You will learn about Cyberculture as it applies to virtual environments: defining what they look like; challenging your assumptions about them and understanding why people, and service-users in particular, use them. Ethical considerations particular to virtual worlds are addressed further..
We will discuss Second Life and ProReal and games such as World of Warcraft; and other platforms where the use of virtual environments and avatars is central to one’s way of living and working.
Research and Theory
This module examines how we can apply traditional theories and research from the field of psychology to virtual environments, encompassing: identity issues; suitability for managing Autism, treating post-traumatic stress disorder; and other research into conditions served well by virtual living.
Avatar interventions are discussed in relation to the following: