Written 22 August, 2008
The Gender Blogs
VIII: Your Cheating Heart
A great many people treat Second Life as if it were Las Vegas. What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. In other words, they believe or at least act as if what happens in SL has nothing to do with the real world.
I suspect these are the same people who have hot sex after hours at work on the Xerox machine, telling themselves it has nothing to do with their marriage.
Cartoonish avatars writhing around on a LCD screen doesn’t necessarily constitute infidelity, but when those avatars have a relationship, when there is emotional involvement, and especially when one or both of them falls in love, it becomes something else entirely. Suddenly there is a RELATIONSHIP. And if one or both of the people in that relationship are married, they are emotionally cheating on their spouses.
Consider: just as in a real life relationship, the spouse is being deprived of companionship, of intimacy, and of sex. There’s no exchange of bodily fluids, but the emotional impact is the same for both parties. How can that not be cheating?
I’m not arguing the ethics of cheating here. People needs to search their own hearts. I’m just saying it’s irresponsible and immature to pretend what happens here isn’t real and can’t affect our real lives. So if you’re cheating on your real life partner, stop pretending you’re not. Because you are. And you need to admit it to yourself.