Cyber Therapy

From the Times, a surprisingly good overview of what’s going on in this area.

When people talk to me about Advance, they often assume that it’s an avatar-based game*. After all, it’s a game about discrimination, so you must be playing a person who gets discriminated against … right? This is not actually my design goal, and the learning theory I’m using suggests I’ll get further by asking players to look at their characters as experimental tokens to be manipulated, not as aspects of themselves. However, there are plenty of routes to reducing prejudice. I especially love Bailenson, Yee and Slater’s work about inhabiting a virtual body that is different from your own. I think I’m going to have to reference this work in outlining how technology can support prejudice reduction techniques, even though they’re not exactly doing what I’m trying to do.

* Which is generally followed by an explanation of why avatars are so awesome. Thank you, random people, for assuming I have not thought through my design space.

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