Modern life

And so this week, in landmark examples of the way that new technology has changed our lives, Dave Pollard is being divorced by his wife because she caught his graphic stand-in shagging a computerised beauty on Second Life. And Paula Goodspeed was found dead, apparently by suicide, outside the Los Angeles home of one of the judges who voted her off American Idol.

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What unites the two cases [Pollard en Godspeed] is that they are part of a fantasy industry, offering escape routes from reality that prove less safe than advertised. Diversions from our given personalities have always been available – drink, drugs, dreaming – but the difference now is that alternative lives acted out on screen may come to seem more attainable than they are.

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