Psychological report

The Virtual 2007 Conference: Interaction20 22 September 2007, Stockholm, Sweden Study partially supported by the Swedish National Institute of Public Health

+46 762 284057

 Second Life Survey:User Profile for

Psychological Engagement &



Interactive technology has bonded together human minds, effectively resulting in malleable, dynamic and permanent virtual communities.  In Second Life (SL), how does immersion into parallel worlds impact the user emotionally, cognitively and behaviorally?  In comparison to the less engaged user, the emotionally engaged are usually more disinhibited, show greater interest in others’ presence, enjoy perfecting their online persona, shop for virtual products more, and tend to own virtual real estate.  It’s clear that they use SL more intensively and experience a sense of time loss more frequently.  We also found that 20% of the population gambled, which was primarily profit motivated.  There is an even division between gamblers who also play other casino games and those who gamble exclusively within SL, and SL gambling may be cathartic for more seasoned gamblers, yet stimulate real life gambling in others.  Interestingly, most users seemed successful with integrating their virtual and real lives, although engaged users experienced conflict more frequently. Keywords:        Virtual communities, psychological earnings, emotional engagement,
virtual currency gambling, metaverse, immersion

   The author is a psychologist dedicated to exploration of the psychosocial impact of interactive media technologies. Since 1998, she has participated in television interviews, written newspaper articles, papers and attended or presented at internet and gaming/gambling conferences and seminars.  In Sweden, she has been working and collaborating with The Swedish National Institute of Public Health in the area of gambling addiction, authoring an extensive report on the psychosocial impact of online video games.


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