Living a Second Life with Schizophrenia

This week’s Economist leads off an article on the virtual world “Second Life” with psychiatry professor Peter Yellowlees, who is using it to show his students what it’s like to experience schizophrenic hallucinations. He has recreated his Sacramento clinic on an island in Second Life, and holds lectures there for his students. Previously, he could never really explain to his students what it was like to suffer from schizophrenia, but now, “It’s so powerful that some get quite upset,” he told the magazine.

More about schizophrenia research at UC Davis — from the dark ages of 2001 — here. More about Second Life, here.

2 responses to “Living a Second Life with Schizophrenia

  1. I have taken a long look at second life and read quite a bit about it. It was partly regarding future avenues for our online store. We sell rugs and the question was whether it would make any sense to open a store in second life. The conclusion I came to was that mostly what is going on in second life is people trying to live out sexual fantasies. To be honest this psychiatry professor’s use of this technology seems to the most creative and productive I have heard of. Perhaps I judged second life to quickly.

  2. I just read about Second Life on wikipedia and it seems really interesting. You can chat with other avatars or with members in your group. Second Life has its own economy and a currency referred to as Linden Dollars (L$). Residents regularly create new goods and services, and buy and sell them in the Second Life virtual world. Like I said, its really interesting. Thanks for the post!

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