Date of Completion


Degree Type

Honors Thesis - Campus Access


Psychology (PSYC)

First Advisor

Richard Gilbert, Ph.D.


The study examined marriage between avatars in Second Life, a 3D immersive environment. The researcher conducted a number of online, in-world interviews with subjects who were currently or had previously been married in Second Life. These interviews included in-depth discussions of dating/courtship rituals, engagement, marriage, and divorce (where applicable). The information gathered during these interviews was organized and coded for analysis, and each participant was treated as a case study rather than a source of statistical data. The major focus of analysis was the comparison of the progression and “timeline” of online marriages (milestones and important events as well as duration) with that of traditional, real-world marriages. Additionally, the psychological factors of marriage were applied to the Second Life relationships in an attempt to analyze similarities. The progression of virtual marriages was found to be similar, although the timeline was condensed. Psychological factors were less evident in Second Life relationships than in real-life marriages.