In a column in today’s Guardian, I examine how the invention of virtual drugs last week may open up lucrative new opportunities for pharmaceutical firms able to create therapies for the psychological ailments that beset avatars.

Here’s a snippet: “Up to now, avatars have led fairly narrow lives. Their main pursuits have been limited to fighting ogres and dragons and having simulated sex using artificial genitalia. Virtual reality has been like a pornographic version of Middle Earth. Now, avatars have a third and more modern alternative: abusing substances. Fighting, screwing, and getting wasted: Virtual life is becoming more like real life every day.”

Here’s the rest of it.