Institute for Creative Technology (ICT) is a research centre aligned to the University of Southern California (USC). It was established in 1999 with a multi-year contract from the Department of Defence in collaboration with the US Army Research Laboratory (UARC) to explore a powerful question: what would happen if leaders in artificial intelligence, graphics, virtual reality and immersion techniques joined forces with the US Army, the gaming industry, institutions conducting research at the forefront of science and innovation, and the creative talents of Hollywood?

Professor Albert ‘Skip’ Rizzo, lead psychologist at ICT, describes the Institute as ‘the unholy alliance between Hollywood, the military and academia’. As recognised leaders in the field of developing virtual humans who think and behave like real people, ICT researches how people engage with computers through virtual characters, video games and simulated scenarios.

Virtual Iraq refers to a Virtual Reality (VR) Exposure Therapy System developed by ‘Skip’ and ICT to treat Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in American soldiers on their return from a tour of duty. This resulting body of work is a documentary project about the role that ICT has in advancing technology to enable the US Army to treat, train and recruit soldiers.

The project was featured in Issue 11 of Photoworks Magazine