An academic study co-authored last year by leading virtual world academic Edward Castronova suggests that people get more happiness from being in Second Life than they do from good news in their real life.
Wagner James Au on New World Notes says this is probably also true for other virtual environments, not only for Second Life. He also points to the bigger question of the shifting boundaries between virtual and real.
Social media help extend immersive experiences to so-called real world networks. Virtual money is convertible in real money, and solidarity actions for real world issues can start out in virtual environments.
Manuel Castells explains we live in a cultural of virtual reality – I think the deconstruction of the boundaries between real and virtual is becoming fairly obvious. Virtual is not some exclusive feature of 3D environments, and reality is ever more being augmented and digitally annotated.
via Diigo http://nwn.blogs.com/nwn/2012/10/second-life-and-the-matrix.html