Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this blog are entirely our own and not necessarily those of our employer or any other occupational therapist.

Friday, 30 November 2007

Second Life and disability

In the process of developing the MSc Advanced OT to be delivered via e-learning I have had to spend many hours experiencing and researching opportunities for social networking in order to provide/access social areas for our virtual learning community. During this time I have generated a profile (an avatar)in Second Life as a virtual person! This has been a strange yet addictive experience as I have navigated through virtual classrooms, cafes, libraries and the occasional wrong turn into the unknown!! Throughout this experience I have been concentrating on where we may set up a virtual seminar or meet students for a virtual coffee and a chat - however after a conversation over lunch with colleagues earlier in the week I have been sent along a an additional train of thought.
A comment was made as to whether Second Life mirrored real life and had avatars who experience a disablility/dysfunction, having a choice would people choose a disability for their avatar? Further searching of news items and blogs suggest that there are groups set up by and for people with a disability within second life. In addition there are suggestions that people who are unable to communicate/socialise/mobilise etc in their real world are creating avatars that can do all of these things- they therefore are gaining a quality of life that eludes them in their real world. What an excellent tool for occupational therapists to consider in their interventions. Of course, as with any new idea, there are problems and a limited evidence base available - but I feel a research project coming on!!!!
Any thoughts welcome.........

Some links


Graeme said...

I have an interest in Body Integrity Identity Disorder (BIID), also known as Amputee Identity Disorder. The desire to amputate one or more healthy limbs or other parts of the body, which, I believe, attracted a lot of people to Scotland where some surgeons were performing these operations. This disorder is also known as "apotemnophilia" . I wonder how many second lifers who want to have a missing limb but cannot bear to do it is real life have an avatar who is missing a body component? Could be an interesting adjunct to your research. I may even have a look myself!

Cristina Costa said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cristina Costa said...

oh! Just love it!
What a great way to use Second Life. I am growing fonder and fonder of it and am really interested in exploring its potential in other areas, such as in Health, in language learning skills, etc.
I am even taking a Spanish course there now! How cool is that?
thanks a lot for sharing.

Anonymous said...

Check out www.ot-advantage.com for great social networking in the OT world! It launched less than 2 weeks ago and has around 1,000 members. It might also help with your research!