Researchers at the University of Toronto and the University Health Network’s Centre for Innovation in Complex Care (CICC) have found that a wide array of health-related activity occurs in the three-dimensional virtual world of Second Life. Second Life is free for users with basic accounts, and has approximately 1 million people who log in to the virtual environment every month. The web-based platform, which is often associated with pornography and cheating spouses, is also used to educate people about illness, train physicians, nurses and medical students with virtual simulations, enable disease-specific support and discussion groups, fundraise real-life dollars for medical research, and to conduct research. The group found that health-related activities in the virtual world have significant implications in the real world. Dante Morra, Medical Director of the CICC, says “virtual worlds and the social networks that populate the Internet offer a new domain for healthcare. “Although it is early in the development, there is a great opportunity to use these platforms for education, research and even disease surveillance.” Jennifer Keelan, the principal investigator on the project, suggests that a major feature for users is the “relative anonymity where patients can seek out information and share health experiences in a safe environment. There is also a great potential for patients to ‘practice being patients’ by virtually experiencing a mammogram or navigating a hospital’s virtual ward — they can gain insight into medical procedures and processes to become more informed.” “There is a great opportunity here to understand the design features of social media that make it so appealing and accessible to people,” states Leslie Beard, the designer on the team. “Once we understand what pulls people to Web 2.0, we can design and apply more effective communication strategies both within and beyond the Internet.” The group’s findings have been published in the open access publication Journal of Medical Internet Research (JMIR) and are freely available at http://www.jmir.org/2009/2/e17/. The project’s next phase will look at using Web 2.0, social media and virtual worlds to conduct academic research and design compelling health communication strategies. Source: University of Toronto
The questionnaire has reached its deadline and is closed for participating. Unfortunately the amount of participants necessary for this survey has not been reached so further analyses won’t be possible. Thanks anyway to the people who have been participating and supporting the survey!
First of all, there is NO research project without participants, and that means: without your help! In other words, it basically doesn’t exist and is doomed. So I know everybody always thinks “somebody else will take it” and often this is the case. BUT, with this project the target group is so specific that really each one of you is VERY VALUABLE! So yes, YOU, who recently joined Second Life, and who is reading this post, is of HUGE IMPORTANCE for the succeeding of this project.
Secondly, this survey is not just done to achieve some theoretical information that will end up somewhere between the dust. NO!! As you all know (or not know) virtual worlds still suffer under some sort of stigma as in ‘being just a game’. And it’s hard to convince people that it’s NOT A GAME. Another remark you often hear is that participating in a virtual world makes you a ‘nerd’, you probably have no physical life friends, you have a boring life, no job, basically: you’re pathetic if you would spend your time on doing this (’cause it’s a game right?). All these negative connotations exist because people have no clue at all about what virtual reality really is. With this study, we can come to conclusions that can tell us how physical and virtual life really interacts. What actually is the influence of participating in a virtual community like SL? What drives people to start participating? And can we see some future possibilities and opportunities, based on research evidence, for broadening our perspectives on several topics: the way we experience life itself and more specifically, topics like health care, social learning, international and -cultural exchanges, creativity of mind, jobopportunities, new artforms, and so on!
But for all this we first need to know how physical and virtual life interacts: and that’s where this study is made for!!!! So if you cán contribute in raising awareness and understanding by just only taking this questionnaire, THEN PLEASE DO. It won’t take more than 10 minutes of your time.
Once more: ONLY TAKE THE QUESTIONNAIRE IF YOU ARE A SL RESIDENT OF MAX. 4 DAYS OLD
Second Life questionnaire on well-being is now ready to be taken! There’s a reward in Linden money for all 3 times you fill out the survey!! It will take approx. 10 minutes of your time and this for three times in a period of a month. The research is about the relationship between participation in SL and your psychological well-being. You’ll have acces to the results as well when the project is finished.
ONLY NEWBIES/NEW RESIDENTS IN SL WITH A RESIDENCY OF MAX. 4 DAYS SINCE STARTING SL
follow this link => Second Life survey