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Biotech Science Technology

Real Pain Dulled In Virtual Worlds 237

Posted by timothy
from the burns-are-serious dept.
26199 writes "The BBC is reporting on a novel use of Virtual Reality: as a distraction for burn victims who suffer excruciating pain during daily dressing changes. What's most interesting is that it actually works. Another use of VR discussed is in the treatment of patients suffering Post Traumatic Stress Disorder; memories can be relived until they are accepted."
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Real Pain Dulled In Virtual Worlds

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  • by gid13 (620803) on Tuesday February 24, 2004 @02:39AM (#8371313)
    I have a feeling white noise would cause me a lot less trauma than those terrible radio stations that are always on in dentists' offices. Is it too much to ask to hear Comfortably Numb? It's THEMATIC, dammit!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 24, 2004 @02:40AM (#8371317)
    Is the dept. for this story some sort of attempt to stem the tide of "OMG VR pr0n 4 teh burn vict1mx0rz" jokes?
  • by Flingles (698457) on Tuesday February 24, 2004 @02:41AM (#8371320) Journal
    This would be great for relieving all that "intense pain" that I experience during class/study time.
  • by spun (1352) <loverevolutionar ... minus physicist> on Tuesday February 24, 2004 @02:42AM (#8371323) Journal
    Scientists today discovered that Virtual Realities can dull the excruciating pain of social rejection suffered by millions of geeks and nerds on a daily basis. It also helped them recover from the Post Traumatic Stress of Wedgies, Wet Willies and the dreaded Rear Admiral. Lead Scientist Nelson Muntz claims 9 out of 10 nerds enjoyed a Virtual Rear Admiral far more than the real version.
  • by foidulus (743482) on Tuesday February 24, 2004 @02:48AM (#8371349)
    Why not just have them read slashdot at -1, that usually makes me forget about my painful, painful life....ow...existance
  • by fenix down (206580) on Tuesday February 24, 2004 @02:53AM (#8371366)
    The dentist I used to go to had the little CD/tape/radio boom box right there in the room. You could bring in whatever you wanted if he was going to do something that would take awhile.

    Then they switched insurance companies on me and now I have to go to this 90 year old guy who's a half-hour away and keeps stabbing holes in my cheek with the tooth-buffer thing.
  • by juebay (736455) on Tuesday February 24, 2004 @02:54AM (#8371370)
    I am fearing that the sue-happy United States will take this too far someday. "Yes. I am suing the following landmarks: Colorado River, Niagra Falls, Victoria Falls, and the Atlantic Ocean shore located 2 miles south of Atlantic City for knowing full well the use of white noise generated at these locations were addiciting but still distributing these addicting items to minors, the handicapped, and the elderly"
  • by shigelojoe (590080) on Tuesday February 24, 2004 @03:00AM (#8371386)
    My dentist always played construction sounds over the headphones. You know, jackhammers, chainsaws, stuff like that.

    After a while I got tired of it, so a switched to a different dentist. This one only asks me "Is it safe?" before he polishes my teeth, which isn't too bad I suppose.
  • by sunbeam60 (653344) on Tuesday February 24, 2004 @03:04AM (#8371398) Homepage
    I had a HGNS while taking my JKL, so HYSA and he LPHN'ed me.
  • by fenix down (206580) on Tuesday February 24, 2004 @03:05AM (#8371401)
    No, Clockwork Orange had all that elegant Kubrick style. This [bbc.co.uk] looks like Microsoft Paint shit all over my Metroid cartridge.
  • by sssmashy (612587) on Tuesday February 24, 2004 @03:07AM (#8371410)

    "Pain requires conscious attention. Humans have a limited amount of this and it's hard to do two things at once," he said.

    I truly relish the day they give this VR "distraction therapy" to women giving birth...

    Wife: OH MY GOD, THE PAIN!

    Husband: Keep pushing, love! Keep pushing!

    Wife: I AM! I'm trying, but he won't come out! Enough of this natural childbirth shit, I WANT AN EPIDURAL... oooh... hey, look over there...

    Anxious Husband: What? What is it, honey?

    Wife: it's a polar bear!

  • by stephanruby (542433) on Tuesday February 24, 2004 @03:24AM (#8371451)
    Numbing the pain of not having a girlfriend. I've been doing this myself for years.
  • by XorNand (517466) on Tuesday February 24, 2004 @03:31AM (#8371469)
    1. Gratuitously slobber on your index finger.
    2. Insert said digit into closest, unsuspecting victim's ear.
    3. Rotate wrist.
    4. Cackle madly when they convulse at the sheer digust and horror of having to endure contact with your bodily fluids.
  • by Rob Simpson (533360) on Tuesday February 24, 2004 @03:32AM (#8371473)
    Strangely, I find that I get more and more nauseous each time I hear the expression "9/11"... maybe it's the negative reinforcement.

    "In this post 9/11 world, we must-" BRZZAP!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 24, 2004 @03:35AM (#8371478)
    Taken from http://www.snpp.com/guides/rear.admiral.html

    OK, so everyone was asking what the hell a rear admiral was. It was
    first mentioned in 1F04, last year's hallowe'en special.

    > Bart: Milhouse...Milhouse, wake up, quick! Look out the window.
    >Milhouse: No way, Bart. If I lean over, I leave myself open to wedgies,
    > wet willies, or even the dreaded rear-admiral!
    >-- Covering his ass, so to speak, "Treehouse of Horror IV"

    Bill Oakley, who _wrote_ that part of the script with Josh Weinstein,
    emailed me the definitive answer as to what a rear admiral is.

    >Regarding "Rear Admiral," I think the answer is probably as
    >disappointing as you feared it might be: it doesn't exist. Here is
    >the actual first draft script excerpt from the Halloween show:
    >
    > BART
    >Milhouse. Milhouse, wake up. Quick, look out the window.
    > MILHOUSE
    >No way, Bart. If I lean over and put my face against the window,
    >you're gonna smash it, or maybe pinch my butt real hard.
    >
    >This was the first draft. In re-writing it, the writers wanted to go
    >for something a little funnier, something that would sound like it was
    >from the family of "flying wedgie," "purple nurple," etc. Someone, I
    >do not remember who, said "Rear Admiral." It sounds real, having the
    >word "rear" in it, but it was manufactured to sound real. As far as we
    >know, it doesn't really exist.
  • by CB-in-Tokyo (692617) on Tuesday February 24, 2004 @03:51AM (#8371532) Homepage
    1. Gratuitously slobber on your index finger.
    2. Insert said digit into closest, unspecting victim's ear.
    3. Rotate wrist.
    4. Cackle madly when they convulse at the sheer digust and horror of having to endure contact with your bodily fluids....

    5. ...Profit???????

  • by RyatNrrd (662756) on Tuesday February 24, 2004 @03:53AM (#8371545) Homepage Journal
    We found nuclear weapons in Iraq.
    We found nuclear weapons in Iraq.
    We found nuclear weapons in Iraq.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 24, 2004 @04:01AM (#8371573)
    Mod parent down: commenting just for the sake of it!
  • by ColaMan (37550) on Tuesday February 24, 2004 @04:27AM (#8371647) Homepage Journal
    Nah, that's just the pain of one of your neurons struggling to bridge the 4-inch gap to the neuron on the other side of your head ;-P

    "c'mon , feel the burn! no pain no gain!"

  • Pffffft... (Score:2, Funny)

    by Gil2796 (585952) on Tuesday February 24, 2004 @06:48AM (#8372008)
    This is old news! Every /.er knows that the Internet takes the mind away from the pain of real-world existence.

    Resume therapy!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 24, 2004 @09:26AM (#8372940)
    maybe it could numb the pain of having a WIFE.
  • by aminorex (141494) on Tuesday February 24, 2004 @11:16AM (#8374146) Homepage Journal
    Why mess up peoples lives with this therapeutic
    crap when there are perfectly good drugs available
    that cure the problem?
  • Re:Safe? (Score:3, Funny)

    by orthogonal (588627) on Tuesday February 24, 2004 @11:33AM (#8374345) Journal
    I have to disagree. I'm pretty sure the reason I see physical and emotional pain as being different is because they don't feel anything alike one another; they're so dissimilar from a phenomenological perspective as to be almost incomparable. ...I'm not doing science when I'm worrying about my feelings, and there's no reason I should be.

    Ah I get it.

    You're one of those people who believes that you're conscious!

    I mean, actually conscious, as opposed to being a pre-programmed, deterministic zombie with the illusion of consciousness a thin veneer painted over the ad hoc, jury-rigged, machinery of your essentially robotic being.

    Well!

    I'll have you know that I'm self-aware enough to know that my "self" is a mere convenient illusion. I know I'm a zombie, an empty mask on a ballistic trajectory through the world, a trajectory determined aeons before my birth by chemical interactions in my ancestor's genes.

    So there!
  • by yeggman (599487) on Tuesday February 24, 2004 @01:41PM (#8375866)
    I think a case can be made that First Person Shooters are VR. And from the articles descriptions of the VR they use with patients, I'd say PFSs are a hell of a lot more sophisticated than what their using on patients. So what are the effects on the human mind of going through 4 hours of virtual war a few nights a week? I think it's only a matter of time before we start seeing gamers come down with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I should know I game. Have you had trouble sleeping after a long night of gaming? Can't close your eyes with out images of fire fights coming to your mind?
    Doesn't sound like a healthy mind to me.
    All things in moderation.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 24, 2004 @03:02PM (#8377012)
    "SnowWorld, for instance, takes users on an absorbing virtual journey through glaciers and ice caves whilst having to defend themselves from attack by polar bears and penguins."

    On the other hand, this sounds like Darl's fantasy world :)

The key elements in human thinking are not numbers but labels of fuzzy sets. -- L. Zadeh

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