I was writing a comment, but then (like all things I touch) it began to drag out so rather than spam the poor blog I decided to just write a post here instead.
I took this test honestly, and I scored a 6, so I "have considered buying virtual birth control/lube because you're ready to get down in the digital. You've thought and researched about virtual sex. Your avatar is your special secret self. When somebody touches your avatar, they are touching you. Sex online is equivalent to sex in real life." I've read fortune cookies offer better more specific responses. It's similar to those silly online quizzes that ask 'what color are you?' or 'what Twilight character are you?' (blue and Alice, if you're curious). It's funny because I'm something of a prude.
The questions are a joke unto themselves. "Do I care how my avatar looks? Do I pay money for clothes and hair? Do I try to look sexy?" Well, uh, yeah. I try not to look like I crawled out of a freebie box after falling all the way through a randomizer tree. "Have you had an argument over how to interact in a virtual world?" Who hasn't? Where hasn't this argument ever not been discussed? "Do you think Angelina Jolie looks hotter..." Why does that matter? What does Angelina Jolie have to do with virtual worlds at all? Nonsense. Half of them only barely tangentially relate to virtual sex/relationships.
So many words, and the article really boils down to:
"If you are invested in your virtual experience, and you have strong emotional or physical reactions to it then what happens there is pretty real. That's what makes the virtual world different from the real: your beliefs/feelings determine what's happening." Which, as you said, has nothing to do with the headline. The headline should have been:
"Emotional Reactions to a Virtual World"
Or how about:
"A Few Tired and Oft Repeated Sentences That Contribute Nothing In Particular to the General Discussion of Feelings and Spirtual Investments in Virtual Worlds"
How the media reports is how some people begin to think, too, even if they lose interest in the stories and headlines the memes stick around. If you happen to mention you're registered as a Republican, you're automatically labeled as a crazed fundamentalist anti-abortion gun toting grumpy capitalist pig homophobic SUV driving nutjob who thinks we should invade those cheese eating French ingrates (that'll teach'em to forget we saved them in WWI/WWII). Har Har I'm a Republican so I can't possibly debate over, say, clean coal because I'm obviously anti-environment!! Although, I think Ari covered more ground on this in a previous post about relativism.
Ah, life is good.