Why do people spend so much time in virtual online worlds? Is this a healthy thing? — James

Coming from a person who hasn’t had much experience using virtual world games, I think they can become a quite negative thing. I know that people become really involved and obsessed with their online lives which I find rather weird, but each to their own I guess. I think this could be quite unhealthy for someone as the become too caught up in the gaming world and start to become less active in the real world. One of the reasons I think people would become so engrossed in a virtual world is that they may be trying to escape reality. A person could be unhappy with their lives so they turn to virtual lives where they can be and do whatever they want. This a reason why they could also be a positive thing because they allow some people to be part of a much more enjoyable life for them. On the flip to this, instead of these users trying to improve their real lives issues they will hide away inside the game. Growing up, the furthest my virtual life experience went was Habbo, Sims and Stardoll, if that one counts. Thinking about it now Habbo was a really dangerous place for a young person to be. All the related sites to Habbo give pedophiles an easy opportunity to speak to young children. You can easily hide your real identity in virtual online worlds so do any of them really know exactly who they’re speaking to.