My first impression of the interactive reality web site SecondLife.com was one of fascination. I was intrigued by the sophisticated 3D imagery and the ability to "fly" from place to place (a common fantasy of many humans, I'm sure). But the concept of buying virtual real estate is almost beyond what my mind is able to grasp, but I still somehow find it very intriguing. I think I like it. I can definitely see advantages for handicapped and elderly people to feel unencumbered, and that in itself is a positive thing. I can see a time in the maybe not-so-distant future when this kind of virtual reality will be commonplace, and we go there A LOT -- to buy our groceries, to do some window shopping, go to church, possibly go to your job, go to have some fun & meet other people. I see nothing wrong with that because I don't believe it will replace ACTUAL reality. I don't think any virtual world could possibly replace our actual world (unless we continue to harm our actual world to the point where we can no longer go outside because of health risks.)
What about the virtual porn that is appearing in SecondLife? So what? It's here in our actual world too, and there will always be sicko people who need that kind of thing. You can't expect SecondLife to be some idealized form of Mayberry RFD. That would be unrealistic. That's why I asked about murder and stealing. I was very curious to see which social laws might be carried over into this new virtual existence. It's actually an interesting social experiment...
Much like my belief that PAPER will always be around, I believe that we will always have an actual existence outside of any virtual existences that may become popular. I have faith in human nature, but am philosophical about it as well. Because the bottom line is: entering the virtual reality world of SecondLife is VOLUNTARY. No one will force you to go there. So if it offends you in some way or you just object to the idea of another reality besides the one you're in now, don't go there. Simple.