The Power of Virtual Worlds

February 23, 2009

Second Life is an internet-based simulation of reality--a virtual world with trees, buildings, animals and people. The "people" are animated characters who participate in the digital world, each guided by a real-world person who can make his or her "avatar" look and act however they want. For someone with physical or emotional disabilities, this chance to "dream" by way of a computer and high-speed internet connection can be a healing and empowering experience. That's why many experts are working to make the simulation environment more accessible to them. From Boulder, Shelley Schlender reports.