There’s been a lot of talk of virtual reality communities lately. As with anything that gets people’s attention when money moves in a new direction, the focus on the revenue can blind us to what’s really at work. Sure we can generalize that social networks serve our very human need for recognition and acknowledgment and for the most part we’d be right. So what is the one thing about virtual worlds that’s so appealing? Most non-participants would say that it’s anonymity, but Cyworld does over $300K a day in virtual commerce based on being yourself.
I believe virtual worlds represent a significant shift in civilization we’re already participating in. How we present ourselves on our “about me” pages on our bios and profiles, and who we choose to be seen with both on and offline are all part of the larger phenomenon of amplifying who we ideally want to be. In short, virtual avatars are nothing more than our desires to create and recreate our ideal selves. Our desire to continuously create ourselves in our ideal image is a desire that is finally being enabled, and it's a pretty cool thing. It’s safe to say that we’ll be participating in such activities as the lines between the physical and metaphysical continue to blur.