A recent article in Wall Street Journal talks about virtual relationships and their affect on real relationships. According to a recent study cited we can learn the following about the cognitive processes in players brains:
- On a neurological level, players may not distinguish between virtual and real-life relationships
- People socializing in virtual worlds remain sensitive to subtle cues like eye contact - in one study, participants moved their avatars back if another character stood too close, even though the space violation was just virtual
- Our brains are not specialized for 21st-century media - There is not switch that says "Process this different because it is on the screen".