I spun this off from my earlier post about crazy Halo 3 kid.
It's disturbing to imagine that video games aren't just worlds to play in, they're worlds to live in. All social ties and entertainment can come from games. When this happens the real world is little more than an inconvenience, a dull place which steals away parts of life.
This doesn't mean I am pessimistic. I find some hope in the alternate realities which we create. Education, for example. Yes I know, video games destroy many students, though I'd argue that they were going to be destroyed by something, and at least games are cheaper than booze. But the great thing about virtual worlds is that they are knowable and people want to know them and encourage others to know them as well. Class mechanics, theorycraft, and rotations are the science and engineering of the virtual world. With luck people will realize that they can understand not only the virtual world, but also the real world. Every theorycrafter is a scientist waiting to realize it. Every person who makes a FAQ about class mechanics is a teacher waiting to realize it. Every person who reads those, especially those who actively seek them out, is a student waiting to realize it.
For more on how virtual worlds may affect the real one, check out this older post.