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27 January 2010 Dissociation in virtual reality: depersonalization and derealization
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Proceedings Volume 7525, The Engineering Reality of Virtual Reality 2010; 75250A (2010)
Event: IS&T/SPIE Electronic Imaging, 2010, San Jose, California, United States
This paper looks at virtual worlds such as Second Life7 (SL) as possible incubators of dissociation disorders as classified by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th Edition3 (also known as the DSM-IV). Depersonalization is where "a person feels that he or she has changed in some way or is somehow unreal." Derealization when "the same beliefs are held about one's surroundings." Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID), previously known as multiple personality disorder fits users of Second Life who adopt "in-world" avatars and in effect, enact multiple distinct identities or personalities (known as alter egos or alters). Select questions from the Structured Clinical Interview for Depersonalization (SCI-DER)8 will be discussed as they might apply to the user's experience in Second Life. Finally I would like to consider the hypothesis that rather than a pathological disorder, dissociation is a normal response to the "artificial reality" of Second Life.
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Gregory P. Garvey "Dissociation in virtual reality: depersonalization and derealization", Proc. SPIE 7525, The Engineering Reality of Virtual Reality 2010, 75250A (27 January 2010);


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