flying in Second LifeDoes what you experience and learn in virtual environments like MMOGs and videogames have any relevance to real life?

Thought leaders like Jim Gee and researchers like Jeremy Bailenson, director of Stanford University’s Virtual Human Interaction Lab (VHIL), assert that it does. Bailenson has been studying ways that online behavior affects daily life (.pdf) and in The Skills of Digital Avatars (.pdf) he makes a convincing argument that virtual representations of professors can be more effective than the real thing (doubtless a cause to celebrate for anyone looking at a tuition bill lately).

For more on Jeremy Bailenson’s work read Time Magazine’s coverage of Bailenson’s work in How Second Life Affects Real Life, listen to NPR’s nterview with Bailenson, or watch a video of his lecture on Transformed Social Interaction in Virtual Reality.