I came across an older post from one of the premiere virtual world blogs, Werner James Au's New World Notes: http://nwn.blogs.com/nwn/2014/05/cheating-in-second-life.html#more
The post summarizes a study of 400 participants, asking them how they'd feel if their SL partner cheated on them. The interesting thing is, people who didn't use SL pretty much dismissed this as a non-event. They couldn't see how the actions of a pixel person on a monitor could upset them emotionally. However, the people who DID use SL, and were familiar with the phenomenon of immersion, did tend to feel emotional upset.
For those of us who are long time residents of virtual worlds, this result is no surprise. But it's interesting to see that what we all already knew is now backed up with numbers.
In other news, Philip Rosedale's "High Fidelity" project is generating some interesting results. One of the things they're exploring over there is getting avatars to respond to their person's gestures and facial expressions in Real Life. While the avatars themselves are as yet very crude, the way they convey their operators' actions is pretty amazing, and I can hardly wait until this technology is available, combined with more realistic avatars. Have a look at this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hX6R6sMyd2M
That, and a cloth and hair dynamics system are what I want for Christmas!