Can playing an online game help you deal with a phobia? Will MMORPGs become the new model for computer therapy?
A recent MSNBC article talks about how online games are helping people deal with their phobias.
It's interesting how they are using a game called Fear Fighter to treat short-term phobias such as panic attacks, depression, and social anxiety. Serious psychiatric problems like bipolar disorder, suicidal tendencies or schizophrenia are too complex to be cured by computer programs.
Psychiatrists shouldn't worry that they might become obsolete.
"We still need therapists to be creative and do all the things a computer can't, like express empathy and respond to the idiosyncrasies of a person's life situation and their history," said Dr. Jesse Wright, a psychiatrist at the University of Louisville, who has studied the use of computer therapy.