The virtual world is merely a few decades old. There is some research on virtuality out there, but still not much. As residents, it seems we just plug along, dealing with things as they happen and try to figure them out as best as we can. I’ve said it before, but it is worth repeating; to me Second Life is a bit like the Wild West might have been, largely unexplored, and this is true particularly perhaps when it comes to our emotional experiences. I like it that way, but I am also becoming more mindful of it. While there is no doubt in my mind that emotional connectedness exists here just as strongly it does in our real lives (we think and feel here too), our projections and fantasies at the same time have a limiting and sometimes questionable effect. Keeping this in mind on each of our exploratory virtual world paths, open minds and kindness go a long way.
Photograph by Kate Bergdorf