Why do people spend more and more time in virtual worlds? Some more than their weekly work-hours combined, just interrupting their time online for food and sleep? What do they get out of interacting with cartoon-like avatars on a computer screen?
In the mainstream media, synthetic worlds (MMOGs) are mostly portrayed as a fringe phenomenon for social outcasts. Sex, violence, addiction and antisocial behavior are often at the core of news reports. There seems to be a clear lack of understanding of this new generation – the Digital Natives! But not only young folks are wrapped up in virtuality.
Our starting point for a journey into cyberspace is the exploration of the lives of seven people, who experience deep connections, love and hate, loneliness and intimacy inside digital worlds. Are they groundbreaking pioneers of a lifestyle that will be commonplace in the near future? A future where the avatar, our digital self, will become a natural extension of our physical self?