Monday, 31 January 2011

Pain Relief

In the graphic above I've combined two of today's news stories. On the left is Antony Gormley's latest sculpture Transport, on the right a scene from therapeutic computer game SnowWorld. Gormley's 6ft tall man is made of old iron nails taken from the repaired south-east transept roof of Canterbury Cathedral, where it now hangs above the first tomb of Thomas Becket (CLICK). Whatever Gormley thinks his statue represents, to me it represents pain. SnowWorld is a virtual reality game developed by Professor Hunter Hoffman and Professor David Patterson at the University of Washington Harborview Burn Centre in Seattle. It reduces pain by distracting the brain from pain signals. While the patient is occupied throwing snowballs at penguins in the icy world of the game, pain is reduced (title link). Horizon: The Secret World of Pain is on BBC Two today at 9pm.


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