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V-Theme Park authoring for fear diminishing

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2 Author(s)
Jeongdan Choi ; Dept. of Virtual Reality, ETRI-CSTL, Taejon, South Korea ; Byungtae Jang

Exposure therapy is a clinical treatment based on gradual and systematic exposure of phobic people to the feared object or situation a little at a time. Through repeated rehearsals, their fear decreases little by little and they become more comfortable with the stimuli. For this purpose, we developed V-Theme Park-an immersive virtual environment, in which the patients themselves construct virtual worlds with the stimuli bothering them in the real world. Our V-Theme Park includes virtual environments of flying, driving, diving and virtual objects of spiders, snakes and so on. This involves exposing the psychologically disordered patients to a virtual environment containing the feared stimulus in place of taking the patients into a real environment or having the patient imagine the stimulus. Due to weak background in this medical field we don't have well-established clinical results yet. The paper describes the considerations and implementation of a treatment system with virtual environments and its authoring tool for fear diminishment and the feasibility tests that were performed on a panic patient with mild symptoms. The user can test the fear by himself through the Internet, because V-Theme Park is saved as a VRML file. We constructed bungee jump, road, and elevator contents and in our study VR exposure therapy was shown to be very effective in reducing the fear of diving, driving, and high elevation

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Virtual Systems and Multimedia, 2001. Proceedings. Seventh International Conference on

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