More and more real people are making themselves at home in artificial worlds. Cecily Sommers says that might be a good thing.
Sommers is the founder and president of The Push Institute, a Minnesota non-profit that studies emerging technologies and trends. She says popular computer games like The Sims and Second Life can have a positive impact on the way we live our real lives.
Today's virtual reality programs allow players to not only create characters and environments, but also interact with other gamers in real time. Sommers says these computer games can teach us how to deal with actual human beings off-line.
The role of virtual reality is just one of the many topics that will be discussed at a conference Sommers is organizing in Twin Cities.
The three-day PUSH Conference starts June 11 and will cover everything from love in the technological age to how robots might influence human behavior.