NEWSWEEK -- Apr 14 -- Lillie and Hawkins met four years ago in Second Life. Then, before they'd ever seen or heard each other's real voices, they got "married" in Second Life, like 43,000 other couples. The couple has been inseparable ever since. In the real world, there are oceans between them. Lillie lives in California; Hawkins in Wales. In 2007, Lillie got a call from a British television station that wanted to fly her to meet Hawkins as part of a Web documentary about lives on the Internet. She agreed. She arrived at the airport, and spotted Hawkins immediately. They embraced, and their fears about that moment, whether it would be different, quickly faded. Gartner Research has estimated that by 2011, four out of five people online (1.6 billion of 2 billion Internet users) will have experimented with a virtual medium like Second Life.
The full article was originally published at Newsweek, but is no longer available.
Mark Brooks: Virtual worlds are real, and here to stay. :-) iPart.cn is the Chinese equivalent phenomen where young Chinese meet online, live in their virtual apartments and meet, date and mate online.