The Virtual Costume – When Your Avatars Outnumber Your RL Population…

Have you ever tried counting up your circle of friends? Now ponder the amount of people you don’t see on a regular basis, but are still friends. How many do you know? Hundreds? Thousands even?

Okay, now count up the amount of people you know online. Are you a gamer? Do you travel in Second Life? Do you have a few more friends than you should via the Internet?

Whatever the case is, there are so many avatars floating around that it’s been declared there are more virtual people than inhabitants in the United States. A rough number then? Well, roughly over 301,139,947. That’s the reported population of the United States. Shocked?

We are.

It’s no question that having an online presence is part of daily life. You could be on Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, Orkut, or whatever else suits your fancy. You may log in daily. But we’re talking about actual virtual avatars. Alternate personalities that people seem to like to take on.

Every day people across the world are seeking some sort of escape from reality and virtual worlds have offered that (for better or worse) better than most hobbies. It’s now commonplace for an individual to be known to more than a few people by a name other than the one they’re given.

It’s really something to ponder. As we write about costumes we find out more and more that the purpose of the costume is to get into something and be someone else. Virtual worlds offer this in a semi-private kind of way. In a world where we clutch so hard to the “musts” we all need a place to let go of them. With each new technological advancement we slowly integrate ourselves into the virtual arena bit by bit.

It’s crazy enough to note here on our blog and hopefully we’ll see more people emerge with opinions on the matter. However there is one thing you can’t fight. There is more to yourself than what you wear outside everyday. Who knows, maybe one day we’ll be known equally as our virtual selves as we are our real selves. Anyone frightened for that day?

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