I read an intriguing article recently. (Yes, I'm addicted to MSN.com, why do you ask?) It was on the subject of "Virtual Infidelity," a concept guaranteed to make my eyes widen and my curiosity pique. But the writer wasn't talking about chat rooms, Internet sex or online dating. Nor was the article about typical affair situations where real people are interacting with potential love interests as themselves, or even as some slightly-idealized-to-highly-exaggerated version of themselves. No. Instead, it was about online gamers playing out relationship dramas as their characters from their virtual videogames.
Blows my mind.
Now, granted. I'm not a gamer, online or off. I could barely get the hang of Pack Man when I was a kid, and Mario is lightyears out of my league, so I'm no expert here. But can people--and by that I mean living, breathing humans who are sitting at home in front of their computers--really get so into their online videogame characters (their "3-D avatars") that they fall in love, through their character, with another person's...um, character?
Since it's the vast majority of online gamers are men, we're talking about guys (yes, frequently heterosexual) who have a sexy female character as their lead player, and this female character chats with and, consequently, falls in love with another guy's character, a hunky male hero, over the course of playing their online game.
Am I the only one who finds this really, really...well, unusual? Check out this story, and you decide: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/18139090/