Burned Soldier Uses Virtual Reality to Curb Pain GQ ARTICLE by Jay Kirk
American soldier Sam Brown was set on fire by an improvised explosive device on his first tour of duty in Afghanistan. He survived but his future looked like it would be one clouded by constant pain and an addiction to pain killers that didn’t really help. Brown’s doctors then tried an experimental treatment, a painkilling video game. This is his story.
Use it with intermediate/senior students to teach point of view. The fascinating virtual reality of Brown’s immersion in “Snow World” and the drug-induced reality of his dreams while fighting to survive will provide alternate points of view worth discussing. Ask students to also consider Brown’s wife’s point of view and even the point of view of their child that is due to be born sometime soon…what might that child’s point of view be as he or she grows up with a burn victim as a father?