Your Next Psychologist May Prescribe ‘The Legend of Zelda’

By Matt Petronzio

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When Carly McCullar, 32, was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder as an adult, she wanted to improve her social and communication skills before heading into the next stage of her life.

Never having received such help before, she volunteered to participate in a unique treatment program: virtual reality. Sitting at a computer that tracked her facial expressions, the game tested her social cognition and provided feedback, McCullar played through various realistic scenarios, including a job interview, a confrontation with a loud neighbor and even dating.

The program, a collaborative effort from gaming technology experts and health researchers at the …

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