Virtual Worlds as persistent spaces for avatars
Define "virtual world" on your own terms. What do you think about the promise of "persistence" of the virtual worlds?
A virtual world is an artificially created entity that is conceived with the objective of providing a persistent space for the meeting of people. People are represented in these meetings through avatars that are able to communicate, perform actions and alter their surroundings. Because of the agency of these avatars, virtual worlds are in constant evolution. The evolution of these virtual environments and the exchanges that occur within them can be recorded for perpetuity. In this sense virtual worlds are persistent in a couple of ways: they are persistent because they continually exist as a space that can always be accessed by the avatars and they are persistent in the sense that all versions of itself and past interactions survive in an artificial memory.
I imagine in 50 years social platforms as we know them today will have disappeared, they will be more like virtual worlds. This virtual worlds, however, won't be as isolated as the ones we know today. The virtual world of the future will not be accessed only by the devices we currently use: phone, computer, tablet. Virtual worlds will be part of many more objects, surfaces will be interactive, clothes will receive inputs from the virtual world, 3D holographics will be a way in which avatars will appear in our reality, etc. I imagine a more pervasive virtual world. I can also envision virtual worlds for fitness, learning and working that make use of virtual reality and gamification.
In 100 years any distinction between virtual worlds and "reality" will be obsolete for daily life. All aspects of reality will be virtualized in the sense that they will have a component outside of their material reality.