Adrianne Wortzel's response (excerpt)
The thesis could be posed that we are a species starved for interaction that is unbounded by the mediated parameters of our displayed personalities -- where our emotional allegiances are free to take any form.
As much as we try to avoid it, we all know people who, in real life, cannot or will not mediate their behavior to consensus modes. I am not necessarily talking about criminal extremes. This is more about, let's say, parishioners in Salt Lake City who may blithely wear see-through garments to religious services, colleagues who have no scruples on issues of shared workload or intellectual property, and authority figures obsessed with the forest with no regard whatsoever for the trees.
New technology experiences that allow individuals to engage in interactive experiences over time, as fictive characters in databased scenarios, are a captivating subject. Such scenarios can either replicate those that occur in our daily lives or reside outside that realm and subsequently pose a nice respite from the familiar. In either case they afford an opportunity to experience a level of power over circumstances. This disembodied freedom in a virtual environment allows us to exercise and amplify our own persona in ways that our culture and real-world responsibilities make difficult, or impossible.