Matthew McCasland MFA Collaborative Design Practicum 2016


Military veterans across the United States are committing suicide at record rates. The veterans that are not committing suicide are combating depression and invasive thoughts of suicide every day. Veterans are losing the battle to post-traumatic stress disorder brought on by experiencing intense combat or extreme violence during military service. Like most of America’s problems, this country has an inefficient process to healthcare; slap on a Band-Aid, hide the wound and distribute medications before trying to perceive the root of the problems we face as a rapidly expanding, diverse community of individuals. Veterans Affairs attempts to help veterans with PTSD but there are many breakdowns in the design and communication of treatments. This is why a large portion of veterans do not feel comfortable seeking treatment from the VA. The small portion of vets who do seek treatment from the VA receive, at best, adequate treatment. My project DPTSD plans to disrupt current medical practices used to treat military veterans who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder. DPTSD employs cognitive processing therapy and prolonged exposure therapy powered by the quantified self and gamification to create a physical and cognitive system where the user must self reflect and self experiment, facilitated by his or her biofeedback, to design strategies to combat their specific PTSD symptoms to gain points that will evolve a PC (playable character) within an FPS (first person shooter) and RPG (role playing game) style survival horror video game. Brought together these elements create a self driven, self designed healthcare system relished in design thinking to facilitate a positive state of mind-body awareness. DPTSD allows the veteran to attain self knowledge through self analyzation while exploring a safe virtual and cognitive world that allows the brain’s natural reward circuitry to flourish while strengthen neural pathways. DPTSD is the ultimate strategy game!

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MFA in Collaborative Design and MA in Design Systems Thesis Works