I meant to write this right after the Neal Stephenson post, since his novel Snow Crash explores the concept brilliantly, but then I got a puppy, and here I am, weeks later, finally writing about the Second Life phenomenon, or a phenomenon involving the Second Life phenomenon.
Research at Stanford University indicates that Second Life players with socially successful avatars are more confident, those with thin avatars will lose weight, and other astounding observations that make it seem as if Second Life, far from attracting escapists and social losers (as the geek reputation goes), is attracting people who are visualizing a new world... or, partaking in an effective kind of self-hypnosis. Maybe it depends on the person. Hey, if we keep war and pollution out of Second Life, can we keep our world clean and peaceful, too? Maybe we need a World of Peacecraft?
Second Life, at Time.
"Immersion in the life of the world, a willingness to be inhabited by and to speak for others, including those beyond the realm of the human, these are the practices not just of the bodhisattva but of the writer." --Jane Hirshfield