SnowWorld is an interactive virtual reality game which serves as a method of pain distraction and relief for burn victims undergoing wound care -- an excruciating process which can occur multiple times a day.
The game immerses patients into a magical world that requires users to throw snowballs at virtual penguins and snowmen. The game effectively diverts a patient's attention away from painful procedures, by occupying the brain with another task. In a small clinical trial, 40 patients reported experiencing 60 to 75-percent less pain during the VR session, whereas morphine only provided patients with an average of 30-percent less pain.
The use of virtual reality as a method of pain relief serves as an effective alternative to the over-prescription of opioid medications in the United States, which has tripled since the 1990s.