Jonathan Cabiria, whom I had the chance to meet at Lift last year, is a brilliant American psychologist and researcher. I quite enjoyed his talk since he brought social communities back to their evolutionary basics: “We come together to be safe”.
Jonathan and his team have been researching marginalised people and how virtual social networks could bring them back to socialisation in the real world (which was unexpected at the beginning of the study). Virtual worlds can actually help people to feel more real, more authentic and more commited to society.
What it means is, basically, is that “real” and virtual worlds should probably not be viewed as separate worlds. In both cases, we are just social animals.