The image on the left depicts how a business person might view virtual worlds. The one on the right is my interpretation of virtual worlds as seen by post-humanists.
Our perception of the world is the reflection of our own state of mind. That is why different people can view the same external events and come to very different conclusions about the meaning and substance of what they see. Since this applies to even the simplest experiences in the physical world, it is not surprising that there are very diverse and divergent opinions about the purpose, value and impact of virtual worlds and virtual identities.
I'm ready to stop debating about what digital worlds and virtual identity are, and refocus on what they can be. The almost complete malleability of digital environments provides an almost unlimited opportunity to transcend the physical constraints of the atomic world. They give us the opportunity to not only visualize our creative imagination, but to embody it and be embodied within it.
So why not see virtual worlds as mandalas and avatars as deities:
A mandala is normally created as a meditational aid, showing the layout of a celestial palace, its surrounding environment and the placement of deities within...By meditating upon oneself as the deities of the mandala, reflecting deeply upon its rich symbolism and engaging in particular internal practices, we can transform our daily perception, we can transform our daily perception, lodged in its chaotic, egocentric world-environment, into exalted wisdom and the perfected world of enlightened beings that is, into the blissful world of Buddha. from Namgyal Monestary