Usually when we talk about virtual reality on Engadget, we talk about it in terms of entertainment, but it’s important to remember that the technology can be much more than a mere toy. It’s ability to substitute reality for any imaginable experience has been shown to have real, measurable effects on people, to the extent that one developer used it to cure his own diplopia. Popular Science magazine is now asking if the experience is real enough to inflict post-traumatic stress disorder on VR gamers. The short answer is no, probably not — but virtual reality technology has been used to help treat the disorder. A project at the University of Southern California has been exploring VR as a form of therapy since about 2005. It’s called Virtual Reality Exposure Therapy, and the procedure is apparently effective enough to been adopted by over 60 facilities, including military bases, university centers and VA hospitals.