Awhile back I heard an individual remark that virtual reality was only interesting to people who were bored or disenchanted with reality. This remark came, obviously, from someone who had never been involved with a virtual world except in passing.
Though this bit of graffiti by Wannabe Banksy implies avatars must be dragged out of virtual reality in order for their real life operators to return to the real world, for most experience in second life is only another opportunity to explore the sensuality ,the suffering, and the spiritual bliss of human existence.
Second Life is a user create world which is anything but pure escapism. Certainly, there are escapists activities. This is only fitting. If anything Second Life is a reflection of reality and you will find individuals with the same diversity of back grounds and interests as the individuals you stand in line with for a coffee Monday morning. However, there is more at work here in Second Life than a human need to escape he banality or dissatisfaction of every day existence. This is the ultimate opportunity for self-expression. Every tree, every building, every item of clothing, every avatar, every word of chat is an expression made by an individual and exchanged with another.
Every time you teleport into a sim you are witness to the imagination, the ideas, the dreams of someone who has the generosity to make it available to you. If anything, in a virtual setting the best and worst of reality can be more closely examined just as we examine real life in any other artistic medium.
Just as any other work of art, the power of virtual reality is its ability to help us understand and appreciate individuals and their unique perspectives on the world. That requires not the attitude of escape but one of confrontation. It requires an open mind and a lot of courage. On the route you may find not only a kindred spirit but insights into your own soul.