But virtual life really began with the birth of language itself -- our transition from the "real" sensorimotor world to the symbolic world of verbal hearsay. With that, it was no longer just sticks and stones that could hurt us. The sensorimotor/symbolic boundary was permeable (hence no boundary) from the very outset. And not long thereafter, the pen became mightier than the sword, daggers drawn, ready to impose writ or dictum. Nor was there ever anything anaesthetic, anhedonic or anodyne about the world of words. People have been living affect-filled virtual lives through conversation, correspondence, and fiction for millennia (Cyrano de Bergerac, Misery Chastain, perhaps even Stephen Hawking are among its avatars). Even the Turing Test is predicated on it. Perhaps only our capacity for memory, imagery and "mind-reading" (via our mirror neurons) predate it.