ICT Presents at Virtual Worlds conference, Seattle WA

August 26, 2010 | Seattle Science Foundation, Seattle, WA

Speaker: Belinda Lange, John Galen Buckwalter, Josh Williams, Eric Forbell, Julia Kim, Kenji Sagae, Skip Rizzo

The University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies is developing SimCoach, a semi-immersive, online, interactive virtual support program where users can be guided by a virtual human agent. SimCoach is a web portal to mental health information, resources, and advice that aims to break down barriers to care.. The virtual human is being developed with the primary goal of engaging those warfighters, and their families, who might not otherwise seek help for psychological and/or emotional conditions. The virtual human will attempt to engage the user by developing rapport and providing unconditional support. Although not set in a fully immersive virtual world, thes application provides a realistic setting that aimsto create a sense of emotional support and provide individually relevant information. The SimCoach web application does not intend to replace a trained clinician or their methods. Instead, SimCoach is designed to provide information and awareness.

Associated community forums and social network sites will be referenced and referrals to in-person support groups and healthcare professionals will be made as appropriate. This presentation will detail the first year of development, early prototype applications and results from initial user testing.