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Virtual Reality Gaming Can Help Amputees Cope With Their Missing Limbs

Far more helpful than using it to play Zelda in first-person.


Losing a limb is obviously incredibly traumatic; not only do you have to cope with the fact that, hey, you’re missing a body part, but you also suffer from phantom limb pains that can be just as horrifying. Luckily, researchers in Gothenburg, Sweden have developed a virtual reality solution for that pain.

Using virtual reality games to simulate the use of the missing limb, PhD candidate Max Ortiz-Catalan and researchers at Chalmers University of Technology and Sahlgrenska University Hospital were able to reduce patients’ phantom limb pain significantly. So significantly, in fact, that after ten solid weeks of practice in-game, the patients even reported feeling completely pain-free for hours.

Not bad, science. Not bad.

(via Laughing Squid, image via YouTube)

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Sam Maggs is a writer and televisioner, currently hailing from the Kingdom of the North (Toronto). Her first book, THE FANGIRL'S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY will be out soon from Quirk Books. Sam’s parents saw Star Wars: A New Hope 24 times when it first came out, so none of this is really her fault.