Do we get more happiness from virtual worlds than from real good news?

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

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3 Responses to Do we get more happiness from virtual worlds than from real good news?

  1. cubicspace says:

    bs… “more “happiness in the real world… human mediated or not… we have millions of years of evolution in us to find joy in “nature” and “reality”.

    first of all, the obsession with “more” as the question is a geek affectation and its of course the wrong question. .. “more happiness” is just a silly quest…. “more” control – an illusion of the medium.

    all of these “games” and “attractions” for our attention are dwarfed by reality/nature and who we “still” are.

    except if your one paid to pundit this meta nonsense about virtual worlds.. and are paid by the google adword;)

  2. Don Parsons says:

    Dr. Kurzweil warned of this years ago. He was afraid people would go
    down into their basements never to be seen again. Wow!!

    • I have my doubts about the perceived opposition virtual – real, which is often assumed to be the same one as unreal – real. There are many links between virtual environments and what we call ‘the real world’, and the social / mobile revolution is blurring that opposition even more.

      Also, one can have questions about the obsession for ‘virtual worlds’ – one could also ask whether reading fiction books makes us more or less happy.

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