I try to keep up on the latest technology, and I try to be understanding about things I, well, quite frankly don't understand. This whole Second Life things falls into that category. Here's what I know about it. People take on a computer generated personality (known as an Avatar), and they actually interact with others in a totally virtual world. There are real estate deals, contractual agreements, and according to this story, there are even affairs with prostitutes that end up causing real life divorce.
Ok, where do I begin. Let's start with a criticism of the whole concept of having a "second" virtual life. Is this a statement on the emptiness of the first? I'm not sure--I don't want to jump on that bandwagon too fast, as I am a member of Facebook which sorta kinda resembles a virtual world---except that people there are actually depicting themselves.
I find myself thinking that while Second Life may not be for me, I can see why a lot of other people might enjoy it. What I can't see is crossing that bright line from fantasy to reality. In the story cited above, the woman came upon her man (I mean, she found him) engaged in an online sexual act with another woman; not him really, and not a woman really, but two computer generated avatars depicting these two humans as they want to be depicted. No harm no foul, right? I mean, if fantasizing about having sex with someone else were all that was needed to cause divorce.....And who says the prostitute was even a woman? Perhaps it was some fat, pasty Brit named Cyril who lives with his mother and writes adverts for a gardening magazine.
But no....this real life relationship (born apparently, online) will now end because of virtual infidelity. This is all really very silly--but it is where our society is going.