Imagine a virtual world sort of the one outlined in the question Will sufficiently advanced societies ultimately embrace living in a simulated world?
We've advanced in technology to the point that
- We're all connected during our lifetimes to this virtual world. The ultimate internet. We can feel, smell, taste, travel, etc. The virtual world is saved and distributed with multiple copies to different planets and moons, so there's no serious threat of its destruction.
- Nanotechnology and robots have taken over all of the tasks on Earth required to sustain us, such as farming, feeding us, etc. We're able to call on them from the virtual world to carry out childbirth, from insemination to birth to hooking the child up to the virtual world.
- We have all the resources we'll ever need for robots to make themselves and also take care of us, including carrying out disposing of our bodies when we die.
- Basically, there are no flaws to be worried about outside the virtual world outside a neutron star hitting us or the sun in our solar system dying on us.
- We have not advanced to a type-III civilisation on the Kardashev scale.
Description of the virtual world:
- There's a main world. It's the central hub that's designed and maintained by a benevolent and unbiased government that's been freed by the robots from its outside responsibilities.
- You can register your own world that only you and trusted people can modify.
- It's been decided to keep an economy in order to abate uncontrolled growth and internal turmoil, and provide incentive to people to continue study and hobbies. However, this world's "poor people" will never be allowed to suffer poverty. They can get by.
- Physics is modified internally so your body does not suffer damage or shock. For example, jumping off a virtual cliff will feel like jumping off two feet.
- This simulated world is unhackable to the extent that our universe is.
- There is still room for development. You can apply to work at the government and work on the virtual world (bad-wishing people are rooted out by code) and plan testing environments for different types of economies (or none at all) and get together to discuss the world's future.
- You can use additional worlds as programs to benefit the virtual world or the real world, as the virtual world is extensible from within thanks to the Open-Closed Principle.
Question: What would life be like? What sorts of social groups would form and what hobbies would people have? Where would their interests lie? And where would we go from there?