Boring (Yet Mesmerizing) VR Experiences Could Calm Anxiety & Reduce Pain

Opioids, or narcotic painkillers, serve as our primary method for alleviating physical distress. They also happen to be a leading cause of death due to their addictive nature. AppliedVR hopes to introduce a safer alternative: virtual reality gaming. They utilize the existing Samsung Gear VR for the hardware, but provides specialized software that offers up a distracting experience that fosters greater pain ignorance.

In essence, patients play a game they cannot lose that involves lobbing balls at bears simply by looking at them (Bear Blast) or throwing food out to hungry animals (Feeding Frenzy). While those sound pretty boring, and the Gear VR doesn’t exactly produce the highest-quality 3D imagery, people have described the games as mesmerizing.

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