The subjective response of people living with HIV to illness narratives in VR

Hamza, Sabeeha (2004)

Includes bibliographical references (leaves 92-101).


This dissertation reports on the results on an exploratory investigation into the potential efficacy of VR as both a support mechanism to people living with HIV I AIDS, as well its capabilities as an emotive medium. Two hypothesis were presented viz. (1) VR will be a form of social support and (2) VR will have an emotional impact on participants. The research builds up on findings which demonstrate the therapeutic effectiveness of telling personal and collective narratives in an HIV I AIDS support group. This fact, together with the tested ability ofVR as a therapeutic medium, let to the development of a virtual support group with an aim to test its therapeutic efficacy. A low cost, deployable desktop PC based system using custom software was developed. The system implemented a VR walkthrough experience of a tranquil campfire in a forest.