Theresa Duringer has a fear of flying, and rather than treating her aviophobia with VR exposure therapy she’s been experimenting with using VR to just completely opt out of the real-life signals of the flying experience altogether. She’s found some anecdotal success of avoiding some of her fear of flying triggers just by using the transportive elements of VR. I don’t expect that this approach would work for very many other phobias since being in VR requires you to be stationary and completely isolated from your immediate surroundings for an extended period of time, which works well for flying.
I had a chance to catch up with Theresa at SXSW where she was giving a presentation titled “Game Design for VR Pioneers.” She’s the CEO of Temple Gates Games where she has helped design the VR titles of Bazaar and Ascension VR. She talks about some of her VR design best practices as well as her personal experience of the power of VR in helping her to better cope with her physiological and stress responses to flying.
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Here’s the recording of Theresa’s “Game Design for VR Pioneers” talk from SXSW.
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