There are a number of areas of SecondLife that I'd like to see receive more academic and scientific attention. The impact of virtual reality on the human brain, and, in particular, the advent of a virtual reality society, has to be noteworthy, and possibly illuminating on several important and interesting areas.
One thing I'd like to see is a study of how SecondLife impacts known psychological and emotional disorders. My naive impression is that it exacerbates and excites certain conditions but soothes and eases others.
For instance: SecondLife seems to exacerbate disorders like paranoia, narcissism, obsessive-compulsive disorder and schizophrenia. For these people, I really can't recommend SecondLife because it seems to make their conditions worse.
On the other hand, some disorders seem to be eased by the SecondLife experience like: depression and bi-polar disorder.
Finding out how virtual reality impacts these disorders and why could lead to significant new therapies for them, and in some cases even using SecondLife itself as a therapeutic method. It might also lead to a better understanding of the platform in general which might give people a way to improve the experience for the entire audience.
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