« Watch High Fidelity Translate Real Time, Motion-Captured Finger Movement to an Avatar's Hands | Main | SL Building Tutorial: Seven Lighting Tips for Stunning Results (NWN Guest Post) »

Wednesday, March 02, 2016


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Gattz Gilman

I strongly agree with the obvious statement that as long as they are also taking care of their reality. My wife and I met in SL, I from Canada and her the US so having our virtual reality in SL allowed us to be able to do what most couples in the same city could do, and made the long distance not feel so long.

Virtual reality I think will just be able to better close the gaps in distance in how we connect to people, especially if it makes it easier to have meaningful interactions with them aside from just text.

Shockwave Yareach

A happy virtual life is a good thing. But not if it neglects the real life. Like any other escape you can a good thing too far.

pussycat catnap


You can be happy here and not there, or vice versa. Not connected.

Like any other interest, hobby, profession, game, or whatever it is you do in SL... it can bring your life great satisfaction or great frustration.

And sometimes both.

SL is no different from any other interest. Just because we stare are cartoons all day on a monitor doesn't make it somehow special. If its special for someone, it is because of what they have managed to do with it.

The technology by itself is meaningless. Context is key.

Just thinking about technology news recently and all the Virtual Reality hype about how all you need is the tech and you will have universal nirvana on Earth or something...

Consider that we have the technology right now to send a manned mission to Mars. We could probably even send one to Alpha Centari...

Why don't we?

Because unlike Silicon Valley VR technies, NASA and other space agencies get it that the human factor means everything. Just because we could put people in a box, strap it to a firecracker, and point it at Alpha Centari, doesn't mean anyone would make it there alive or sane.

How you use the technology is key... And that applies no matter what kind of technology you're talking about.

That said...

A better question would be: "Has Second Life made your life better or happier?"
- Because with that question we can actually answer it with our individual contexts and come back with a yes, maybe, or no.

Clara Seller

I don't think that you can cheat your way to an old fashioned happy life.

We're human animals and there's just some experiences in the natural world that we need and will always need to be happy and fulfilled.

Drugs and virtual reality can give can give us an escape from our real life and make us feel happy in the moment, but I don't think a truly happy life is so fragile that it can be evaporated by running out of recreational drugs or by a power outage.


I think that this question would make more sense if stated in reverse order: "If people are having a happy life, they are having a virtually happy life."

It seems for me that when you live an happy life, you can find more easily things in the virtual world that can make you happier.

An other thing is the misconception of people opposing reality Vs virtuality. By understanding the term like it should be, the virtuality is an eventuality of the reality, thus they are not opposed, but different things.


I believe it is, not just because it is Virtual though, but simply because it makes you happy. One of the main personal goals in life must surly be to find happiness. If some form of Virtual life achieves that goal for you then why would you listen to someone telling you that it's all fake, that it's not real. All happiness is fleeting, even if it based in reality and lasts all life long, it is doomed to end one day. No one can feel what another feels, if I say I have had extraordinary feeling experiences in virtual worlds that made me happy, then it is surly not for anyone else to debate the reality, or worth of my personal experience. Of course VR should carry a Government health warning like drink, drugs gambling, and all other potential forms of addictive recreational activities,” Warning: Any happiness gained through VR may seriously damage real life relationships and long held concepts of reality” . But in the end VR will be no more responsible for the break up of society than any of the other aforementioned addictive recreational activities.

Hamish Todd

I went for "somewhat agree". It depends on what content they are consuming. Using the book analogy, if all they ever read is Barbara Cartland novels, there only kind of "happiness" they can bestow is quite a shady and unfulfilling kind. "Happy life" has different connotations, to me at least.

sirhc deSantis

Other. Echo Pussycat Catnap 'You can be happy here and not there, or vice versa. Not connected.'

Besides, I thought these binary type things (even with mid points) were all so last year as we all live on spectrums (spectra?) now =^^=

Han Held

>He says “If people are having a virtually happy life, they are having a happy life. Period.”

Do I agree?

Hell No! What the actual fuck, y'all? That statement is stupid on its' face!

It's not just possible to have a "happy sl" while one's RL is falling to pieces all around you ...it's amazingly common.

A "happy SL" doesn't make up for RL health problems (alleviate? sure), a "Happy SL" doesn't make up for the breakup you just had with your SO of x-number-years. A "happy SL" doesn't make up for the job hunt that is going sideways. ...or for the promotion you worked hard for but didn't get.

and so on, and so on.

You can turn around and say "Han, we're not talking about SL, we're talking about Veee ARRRR" and I'll shrug and respond "as if that makes even a shred of difference". The dynamics are the same, it's only a question of degree.

An escape is an escape; VR ...like SL (...like simsonline ...like activeworlds) can compliment your RL, but you have to be on some serious drugs to say that just because your escape is happy that it compensates for the things that go wrong in your RL.

The line of thinking that says "as long as your VR life is happy, your life is happy, period" (with the strong implication of "who gives a fuck about your RL" ...which his use of "Period" implies) leads to disaster and addiction. It's not only wrong, it's potentially dangerous.

Ryan E

Everybody disagreeing with this is making a lot of assumptions based on the way life is today and your personal definition of "reality". If a virtual experience becomes so compelling that it feels real then why is that automatically worse than "real life"? If you interact with a real person in a VR space doing something that you both love doing but can't do for real, why is that an inherently lesser experience? If the other participant in that same scenario is a thoroughly convincing AI, why is it different? Reality is your brain's interpretation of incoming stimuli, with no prejudice about the source.

Dartagan Shepherd

Well, Dopamine peddlers certainly aren't going to try to sell you LESS Dopamine.

Han Held

@Dartagan Shepherd; exactly! -well said.


In all honesty, I think you all should try death. You would be much happier dead than alive. Really, take my word for it and feel free to add some coins to my tip jar before you 'off' yourself.


We are in fact all hard core convicted criminals who have been sent to prison ship Earth, awaiting sentencing from a judge who always passes the death sentence. In due coarse we all get times and dates. We don't realize this though, because in order to keep us docile the time lords who rule the universe continually supply us with distractions, drugs, drink, gambling, sex, love, hate, war, TV, SL, VR etc. etc. You see we are not as the Matrix argument would have it, innocent victims oppressed by tyrannical overlords, but nasty unsocial creatures that the rest of the universe rejects and wants gone. That's why they have shoved us out here so far away from any other life form in the universe, possibly in the hope we will save the judge the time and bother by destroying each other. Of course this is just a personal opinion, and like the prophet Clint, peace be upon him, once said ”opinions are like arseholes, we all got one” And of course, some are bigger than others.


Even a happy virtual life would neglect the agons of a happy real one. Yesterday I labored a few hours on a farm tractor I'm selling, checking for issues and eliminating possibilities in the electric system. I used a lot of stored knowledge in the wetware of my brain to trouble-shoot. I was in a place without reliable wireless, so double-checking hunches with the phone was not possible.

Then I went to work on the fuel system, turning wrenches and skinning knuckles until I had the likely culprit. At night I went online, into a flat virtual community, to check my assumptions. This weekend I'll clean out the fuel tank, blow compressed air through all the fittings, and restart the old diesel.

Simulating all that with an Occulus might eventually be possible. Doing so might even feed me if my virtual farm supplied RL income. But you know what?

Virtual is still FAKE. Always will be until someone really does achieve the Singularity. Hence my consideration of SL and more advanced forms of virtual worlds as just something nice for entertainment, like a novel or film but more immersive.

As for the possibility that our RL world is a Matrix? Let me quote a famous fake person, Conan the Barbarian. I only slay groundhogs and cold beers, but the rest is apt:

"I know this: if life is illusion, then I am no less an illusion, and being thus, the illusion is real to me. I live, I burn with life, I love, I slay, and am content."


"I know this: if my virtual life and all the real feelings and emotions I have experienced there are nothing more than illusion, then I am no less an illusion, and being thus, the illusion is real to me. I fell alive there, I burn with life there, I love there, I hurt there, I am content." A quote from a VR addict sometime in the near future, or possibly a long term SL user now. The difference between real and fake is a trick of the mind as far as feeling and emotional experience go, and most likely physical pain as well can be simulated in the mind. If you tell someone that a person they love has died and it is a lie, they will have exactly the same emotional experience as if it were true. All that you believe yourself to be, all your cherished memories, loves and hates can be taken away in an instant, by accident or disease. I witnessed this close up recently with my fathers terminal dementia. We are fragile, programmable soft machines. Reality is a state of mind as far as our views upon it are concerned, all IMHO of course, which is variable according to incoming data.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Your Information

(Name is required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)

Wagner James Au
Animated gif Hot tub Dutchie december 2021
Samsung Edge computing reports NWN
Sinespace virtual world Unity free home
Breakroom virtual meetings conferences-GIF
my site ... ... ...