Avatars can attend and participate in educational classes, political town halls, live comedy shows, DJ performances and entrepreneurial endeavors. A study released this month by the Visa-owned research group Play Span found that almost one third of the general gaming population uses real money in virtual games as game dollars can be bought with real dollars (230 Lindens in Second Life translates to 1 USD plus a 30 cent fee; one Ray in Utherverse roughty translates to 7 cents, although the actual cost shifts based on the world's market prices).
According to a 2007 study, one in three MMORPG players have found themselves attracted to another player.
Of the 912 MMORPG players from 45 different countries who were polled, 42 percent of female and 26 percent of male players admitted that they were attracted to other players they met as avatars.
They make up two of approximately seven million registered users of Utherverse, a 3D virtual world geared to an adult audience with a design that was inspired by Amsterdam’s red light district.
The Riselings also number among the many people who have found love through massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs) such as Utherverse, World of Warcraft and Second Life.
But the Riselings and many other couples have found that their avatar attraction extended far beyond the computer screen.