Psychological Upswing of Virtual Worlds

This article from Wired goes back a few months – it’s from January. But it’s still relevant.

Anyone involved with Second Life is likely to know that NASA has made a large commitment to virtual worlds and their potential for reinvigorating public interest in the space program. I’ve attended and blogged on some of NASA’s mixed reality events. It’s a fantastic medium for open discussion.

What’s particularly heartening about the Wired article is the fact that NASA sees the huge potential of connecting lonely astronauts with their loved ones through virtual worlds. If you’ve been in-world, you know how real it feels to have a conversation with another avatar, compared to sending an email or even using the phone. It feels like you’re really in the same space, in real time, sharing a moment with another person. For long-distance relationships, this really is the next best thing to being there.