Full Spectrum Warrior, after failing in its initial design, seems to be finding a new purpose, by aiding US veterans overcome Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in a new experimental treatment program, named Virtual Iraq.
Released in 2004 for the Xbox and PC (and the PS2 in 2005), Full Spectrum Warrior made waves in the press by being a game developed in association with the US Army for use as a training tool for active military personnel. The Army ended up never using Full Spectrum Warrior to train, but now, with the development of Virtual Iraq, a modified version of Warrior is helping recently returned soldiers cope with the sights, sounds, and pressures of war through a kind of immersion therapy.
In a recent feature for The New Yorker, writer Sue Halpern explores one soldier's experiences with dealing with P.T.S.D. by forcing himself to relive the environments of war again and again. The treatment is still far too new for any conclusions to be drawn, but we could be looking into another area, where videogames can actually do more good than solely entertain.
The New Yorker: Virtual Iraq