In a world of deliberate and continuous distraction, the rising popularity of virtual reality is inevitable. It is very clear that VR will affect the next generation of gaming devices, and it certainly will take its place in advertising and marketing strategies. To many this will be an unwelcome addition to our already blurred reality. However, there are other sides to virtual reality that could make the concept useful for all.
Virtual Reality Therapy is not a new concept: in fact it goes back to the early nineties when the term was first coined. The concept was based simply on distraction. Just as we might look away or cover our ears to reduce our senses or to help block pain, VR works as a way to distract the senses and refocus the brain on other sensory activities, rather than focusing on the pain or trauma. This therapy has been successfully used on patients suffering from chronic pain, anxiety disorders, and substance addictions.
We often spend our time trying to stay focussed, attempting to avoid unwanted distraction and condemning acts that encourage diversion from the real world. But perhaps this viewpoint is misleading. Perhaps these ‘distractions’ are nourishing our senses and providing a healthy diversion from the complexities of the real world. In the future, this therapy might become something that we use daily to recover from the stress and demands of everyday life.