I found this article through my alma mater, the University of Washington, about researchers from UW that developed a virtual reality program to distract burn victims from their pain. It is called SnowWorld and has mainly been used by troops burned in Afghanistan or Iraq.
The version of the program in the military hospital uses high-tech goggles that have a wide field of vision. SnowWorld helps patients who wear the goggles block the unpleasant view of their wounds and charred skin, allowing them to navigate an icy canyon instead.
In it, users can push a button and throw a snowball at a giant penguin or a mammoth, which trumpets angrily in response.
It has gotten good response from patients and has made life better for them, their families, and nurses. I can’t imagine the pain these people feel already, many of them with over 80% of their body burned.
The article also mentioned possibly using the same technology to treat those with post-traumatic stress disorder. I’d be interested to see what they come up with. Actually, I’m interested in what this program looks like and what other features it has.