Psychiatry and Second Life
This podcast is a tour of the Virtual Hallucinations building on Davis Island in Second Life. The building simulates what it is like to suffer from the auditry and visual hallucinations associated with schizophrenia. I walked round the building in the company of the researcher behind the project Professor Peter Yellowlees. It's a very disturbing place to visit, but an effective illustration of the potential of virtual words. While it's impossible to know what it is like to suffer from schizophrenia unless one has the condition, this building is a good approximation, based upon actual patient testimony. It must be a tremendous help to psychiatrists hoping to better understand the affect of the illness on the way their patients view the world. Even hallucinations rendered in the crude visuals and audio of Second Life were very disorientating and not a little distressing.
The audio was recorded via Skype through a mixer with the audio output from second life routed through the PC's soundcard while skype was routed through a separate soundcard plugged into a the PCMA slot..enabling me to control the level of the audio halucinations while talking to Peter. Both outputs were put through a physical mixer enabling me to send a mix-minus back to Peter.