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1 in 5 Brits would rather live in Virtual Reality than the real world

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One in five Brits would prefer living in a virtual world to the real one, according to research.

The study, carried out by social VR platform Geekzonia, found variation between men and women as well as across different regions. A higher number of men would prefer to live in the virtual reality than women, and the highest percentages of people choosing the so-called ‘VR’ world were reported in London (25%) and Scotland (19%).

Whilst a national average of 17% may not seem like a significant amount, the future of humanity gets slightly bleaker.

When asked why they were happy to leave the real world behind, 45% of respondees in the East Midlands and 57% of those in Wales said that the events of Brexit and the election of Donald Trump were the main cause. (As a side note - perhaps President Trump himself would benefit from moving to a virtual reality where he could realise his skewed vision of the world. You can build all the walls you want in the VR world.)

Of course, others chose to look on the virtual bright side: 46% stated that the ability to visit other planets or fictional locations would make VR worthwhile. Because who doesn’t want to hang out at Winterfell, Mordor or the Death Star?

In fact, this concept becomes even more enticing once you envision meeting beloved fictional characters, which is why 33% said VR beats the real world.

Next, they considered what their virtual counterpart would look like: 39% chose a similar yet slightly improved version of themselves. Interestingly, the proportion of men who claimed they would rather stick to a realistic representation was higher compared to women: 45% of British women would take advantage of the opportunity to alter their appearance in the VR world, and some would even go as far as assuming the identity of a celebrity or a fictional character.

Geekzonia CEO Peter Dobson says he’s not surprised with the increasing number of people interested in a “virtual universe”. Whether using it as a form of escapism or simply to pursue the thrill of surreal experiences, he highlights the immense potential that VR holds “to make people feel invincible but also allow them to meet other people from around the world”. 

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