Online chat with avatars sexy a game of 2 halves speed dating
And it seems as though increasing numbers of us are at risk from the spectre of digital adultery.
It comes as no surprise, then, to learn that a woman is divorcing her husband after catching him having an online affair.
I just want her back.” It all sounds very extreme, but according to Professor Mark Griffiths, a psychologist at Nottingham Trent University who has carried out research into the field, it’s surprisingly easy to get emotionally involved online.
“The internet is a disinhibiting medium, where people’s emotional guard is down,” he says.
“A month later we were logging on every evening at 7pm and not logging off until 4am.
Our avatars would do all the stuff normal couples do, like talking and going to clubs or ice skating.
Rather, it is a “synthetic world” with shops and cars, theatres and estate agents, where you communicate with others via instant messaging or voice.
It may not be real, but a lot of people take it very seriously indeed: both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama opened campaign offices in this parallel universe.
In Second Life I could be who I wanted to be, and when I met Nik I was in control for the first time in years.
It gets even weirder once you realise that Kristen’s mother logged on to Second Life to see her “daughter” Kira wed Nik and that Steve’s mate was his best man, watching, all choked up, on the sidelines.
The bizarre event was the culmination of five months of cyber-dating, during which time Kirsten and Steve’s avatars met in Second Life, struck up a virtual rapport, had virtual sex and moved in together, virtually.
“I had heard Duran Duran were playing a virtual gig and wanted to see them, so when my avatar, Kira, saw Nik, I got her to go up to him and ask if he was Nick Rhodes.
He said, ‘Maybe I am, and maybe I’m not’ and it all started from there.