I was at a hotel in Portland the other day. I was there to witness a real-life first meeting between two individuals that had met 15 yrs ago online and then again recently met in virtual worlds. (The meeting went well by the way.)
I let them alone in the hotel room to talk and went downstairs to the workout area and the business center. It was there that I met a gal who was from the Oregon prison system. Her job was to help orient inmates to the world outside. A particularly difficult thing to do since the world is moving so fast some of them never have had cell phones.
Introductions are always difficult for me since no one can grasp what it is I do. Human/Computer Interface Psychology Consulting.. ummm
Let me show you what I have done for NIOSH. (Video here) I showed the YouTube video of Cafe Bumbles which is suppose to assist teenagers with the transition into the work force. Her eyes lit up!! She could see how this would help with getting the inmates ready for the outside world.
I also had a revelation. These men knew they were being punished for crimes, but some were there for life, with no hope. How absolutely frustrating that would be...to exist without hope. I know about and teach about immersion and how freeing and engaging such a state of being is...
There is Open Sim, that we can set up within the prison system that does not have to be connected outside. A virtual world where the inmates can create for themselves their own world. No longer engaging only with the reality of bars and other inmates but one that is totally free to be what is envisioned. We can have a different world for every mindset. For the inmates that really only want to blow things up and let off steam to the ones that want to understand how to get back into main stream reality. This would be an awesome use of virtual worlds!
Now that leaves me to try and contact and explain the cost/benefit capabilities of virtual worlds and the state of being that minds can take immersed in new worlds and present it to bureaucrats . Umm, there are always those hurdles.. smile.
I am very familiar with the disability communities within virtual worlds and how the perception is one of.. "This IS their life!" So why couldn't those behind bars create their own world. One that would not mean you have to castrate others to express your desires or dominance. Allow for visions and understanding of what someone would do with unlimited freedom. Of course this would also allow those assisting to understand the true mindset of those they plan on releasing out into society again.
It really is a perfect place to allow the exploration of the mind. To release the mind to explore. It would be perfect in the fact that the hopelessness of their day to day existence could now be redirected toward the creation of a new world. What would they come up with? How much of a release is their in creativity and inventing. Could it end up being a real life skill set they come out with?
Anyway that is where my mind is at the moment. Creating a plan and a business proposal that just might redirect the under-directed.. hmmm
Would welcome your thoughts.