I love the long reader comment thread on last week's post about a study which suggests some people prefer virtual experiences to real ones, because it's just as interesting (if not more so) than the actual post. It also reminds me how lucky I am to write for such a smart and engaged group of readers. (Dammit I fricking love you guys.) I'm tempted to say all the comments constitute last week's Comment of the Week, but let me highlight this one from Ezra, on the appeal of virtual fashion:
"I bet a lot of people using Second Life spend more money on virtual clothes than real clothes some months. Why? A lot of us, especially those of us that live in temperate places, don't buy clothes at all based off of physical functions like keeping warm or protected anymore. The bulk of our closets are items we chose based on shape, colors and patterns, and most important of all how we believe thousands of passerbyers in the streets will like them when seen but never touched.
"So what makes a real shirt more 'real' than a virtual one in terms of value when anything physical doesn't play a part?
"That's overstated because despite not necessarily buying clothes to keep warm, we also buy based on the feel of clothes and still do enjoy our own bodies, but it seems 'real' and 'virtual' matters a whole lot less for everything that amounts to show and tell, because pixels suffice for that and even exceed in some areas."
"I think the limitations of virtual being as good or better than 'real' is boxed to the senses of sight and sound. It's why clothes are so successful in Second Life. Virtual is perfect for everything we only need to see or hear. Taste, touch, smell, obviously we're a long long way from betraying our friends for a steak, but in the meantime sportin' a nice collection of shades and trenchcoats is already here."Tweet