[WF-General] WF and RPG potential in public health

Max max.klohn at gmail.com
Mon Aug 28 03:35:06 PDT 2006


Dear all,

I am new here, I am posting this to the "general" list, please
redirect this to the adequate mailing lists if applies.

I have been looking with much interest to the impressive amounts of
code and experience accumulating in WF.

I am a MD working in public health. An important part of our current
mandate is to promote on-line interventions addressing the growing
problems of the young {adolescent, adults} related to substance abuse
and dependences. Most interventions that apply to other ages have not
worked in those groups, and people tend to consult quite late when the
problems and behaviour are deeply rooted.

On the other hand, there is a growing literature and experience
showing us that several kinds of psychologic interventions (including
various degrees of RPG and motivational interventions) do have some
effects when delivered through the Internet. Interactive interventions
require modellization, sometimes in the form of bayesian networks, and
different degrees of AI to interact with the person and deliver
customized content. This is usually done through interactive web pages
or 2-d graphics. But the limited time per page of a typical surfer
sharply limits the information that can be delvered in one

What we are currently missing is a truly attractive (and fun) means of
interacting and delivering the messages.  My feeling is that an
immersive and attractive "universe" such as WF could have a huge
potential to deliver implicit health messages and allow people to
experiment with different behaviours in given scenarios during
sufficient time.

This raises naturally a lot of questions, such as: Is it mature
enough? does the currrrent framework for character AI allow for this
(if pig farming is possible, would it be possible to model
addiction...?), does it raise an interest in the group?

So I am very interested in getting your opinions on this matter and
discussing this.

If there is interest, I can provide the basis of the behaviours we
would like to mimick and confront the users with... We have limited
means (it is public health) but if a framework gets established one
could always imagine further ways of helping with the development.

Max


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