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ERIC Number: EJ783427
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Jan-11
Pages: 1
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0009-5982
Virtual Worlds Turn Therapeutic for Autistic Disorders
Mangan, Katherine
Chronicle of Higher Education, v54 n18 pA26 Jan 2008
Asperger's patients have been treated by role-playing with real-life therapists. The virtual-reality town at the medical center is a new twist. The University of Texas at Dallas uses a platform from Second Life, the popular virtual world, in which patients go to an "island" customized for therapeutic purposes. The island was built by undergraduates in the university's game-design program, guided by the center's clinicians. Patients design their avatars to look as much like themselves as possible, and can readily access programmed gestures to make their likenesses smile, shrug, or express impatience by tapping their feet. Virtual reality is gaining traction as a form of psychotherapy at many academic medical centers since it allows a wider, more flexible platform, with a broader variety of cues and potential scenarios to build social skills.
Chronicle of Higher Education. 1255 23rd Street NW Suite 700, Washington, DC 20037. Tel: 800-728-2803; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Texas