I came across a programme on Really tv called ‘virtual life and cyberspace love’ by chance last night.  It was the story of Carolyn and Lee, a not so happily married couple plus four kids from the US.  In her fantasy world Carolyn plays a sexy looking character in ‘Second Life’ a virtual reality programme and struts her stuff in skimpy g-strings and thigh length boots and uses her avatar to create an on screen  existence to escape her  real life.

In real life housewife  and mother Carolyn is a slightly over weight red head in need of  a dose of some real help. It’s not hard to figure out that  she has no time to make the best of herself as she spends up to 14 hours a day on her pc in her especially adapted bedroom.  Carolyn had  almost abandoned  her four real life children and her enduring hubbie Lee, who compensated for her withdrawal from family life by taking on the house and kids  in addition to working ,whilst Carolyn frolics in her fantasy existence.

Carolyn and her on screen lover meet in real life when Carolyn unable to function in normal life  finally flies to the UK to meet Elliot. The documentary follows the story of the cyber couple but it’s definitely  not love at second sight and Elliot makes it clear he has no desire for Carolyn in the real world. Conversation is stifled and awkward and it’s plain to see the sparks did not ignite and the on screen love affair was not going to become a reality.

Curious, I googled ‘ Second Life’ and it came back at me with umpteen hits. It seems ‘Second Life’  has been around for  a good few years although I had never heard of it ! It’s a complete cyber empire where avatars live, love, work and socialize. Avatars buy property, get married, go shopping,  play sports, visit art galleries, and everything else imaginable. Not only that but a handful of countries such as Sweden, Serbia, and the Maldives to name just a few are represented by embassies!  Avatars can even get religion. Virtual land and has been bought by a number religious institutions and there are numerous churches and mosques so avatars can get their godly fix.

All fascinating and mind blowing stuff and yet it’s also a sad reflection of real life where vulnerable people like Carolyn can lose themselves …..literally. I figure she may have been bored with her real life and became an addict of her cyber life as an easy option and there are many who unwittingly fall victim into it, but what she really needed was a  more assertive husband who did more than ‘allow’ her the space to let their real world be taken over.  The whole family have suffered through Carolyns addiction and I’m sure there’s a new market in cyber addiction just around the corner.