Virtual Worlds: I participate thus I am.

It’s not enough today just to be a resident on planet earth; we have a number of options of becoming “residents” of other virtual worlds. Property, a social network and so much more is readily available to you, once you learn the virtual system. Sounds like planet earth right? You even get to create an identity, called an avatar, which speaks to a version of you that you may rarely show to others. Second Life and other virtual realities such as Farmville, Cafe World and several others permit us to act out realities that otherwise may be impossible. These virtual worlds are doing something for us. As of 2011, Second Life has 20 million registered users.

What in the heck is this all about? Why have human beings dreamed virtual worlds into the realm of living possibilities? What does taking on an Avatar do for us? Why do we need this outlet, now?

I suspect these virtual worlds open up living possibilities (in fantasy) that may be hard to reach or shut down to us in everyday living. Why today? Why did human beings dream virtual realities into being? It’s harder today to fulfill the heart of the American Dream. Getting the ideal job or owning a home is much harder today, especially for America’s youth. The human mind cannot just sit idly. So, if you can’t get what you want, here on earth, you go more and more into the virtual world of fantasy, to realize possibility.

Share your thoughts on today’s virtual worlds. Do you participate in any of them? What do they do for you? Even if it’s just pure fun, share your thoughts with us.


2 Responses to “Virtual Worlds: I participate thus I am.”

  1. avatar live says:

    HI Dr. K. Great topic! Currently or previously, I have not participated in any virtual worlds. Although I do think social networking sites such as facebook are a virtual world of their own in that users represent an "altered," more desired image of themselves. I believe to some extent, mankind has always reached out and created for avatar like representations of themselves. These avatars can be found in all cultures through art, paintings, and "heroic" stories. The difference now is that the advancement of technology has made it possible for these altered realities to exhibit characteristics of sound and movement. Our altered mental representations can have a form of life now. Referring back to the original question of why these virtual realities have become so popular, the primary reason that comes to mind is to escape reality. To be more precise, to escape those parts of our reality which are unpleasant and incongruent with the mental representations we hold of ourselves. Deficits or shortcomings we easily "deny" in the real world are easy to master in the virtual world. A highly stressful situation in the real world can easily be camouflaged in the virtual world. It's the little kid wishful fantasy of being "superman" or a "power ranger." To some extent, these altered realities may be desirable in that they can foster hope in the human mind. Being a pro at farmville may very well internalize feelings of mastery and confidence, sparking positive neural brain connections, which can then be generalized to real life situations. The confidence gained from a virtual representation can be utilized and generalized to the real life and help in problem solving. This concept can be seen in our school systems which emphasize children to join sports and other extracurricular activities, to increase chances of mastery. Mastery then leads to confidence and development of other skills which can be utilized for several life experiences. Much the same, a virtual world gives us a second chance to master something. In one way it might be seen as maladaptive to escape reality, but in another way it can be seen as adaptive in that humans are attempting to retain sanity by putting themselves in situations where they can accomplish more.

  2. Thank you for such great comments. Yes, avatars are present in culture in so many ways—and I love your point of giving us a chance to master different parts of experience and develop problem-solving. You give me lots of reflection about all of the positive aspects of virtual worlds. How true that we can only decide if we will let the virtual reality be a positive or negative for us. If we do not let these games take us away from interacting in the real world and benefit from the many points you make here—what a great thing they can be then! thank you!!!


Leave a Reply

Meet Dr. Deborah Khoshaba

She Has A Gift For You.

Psychology in Everyday Life on Facebook

Getting to Oz: The personal journey to your true self

So You Want To Date A Narcissist?

Sacrifices You Must Make, To Do So!

What behaviors are taking you hostage?

Make a choice to live freely, fully and creatively.

Love is Being Present

How To Get More Love Into Your Life

Our Sponsors and Support Mental Health Sites


All content provided on this blog is for informational purposes only. This blog is not meant to professionally treat people psychologically. The owner of this blog makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site. The owner will not be liable for any errors or omissions in this information nor for the availability of this information. The owner will not be liable for any losses, injuries, or damages from the display or use of this information. These terms and conditions of use are subject to change at anytime and without notice.

PIEL is PayPal Verified

Official PayPal Seal