Don't we want small children to recognize the difference between a picture and a real person?

Well, maybe, maybe not.

This quote comes to us from The Irascible Professor, commentary on the challenges of contemporary education in the US, sometimes California specifically.

Each week features a guest commentary by someone in the education "biz" (irony intended). This week it's about computers in classrooms, that quick fix for all your problems:

The Irascible Professor-commentary of the day 02-05-06. The silicon bullet.
I was talking with my friends Cory and Sarah on Friday and kids/education/virtual reality came up. One of my comments was that in fiction portraying purely digital beings (e.g. Egan's Diaspora) the beings have a home space ("scape") that is tailored to their particular tastes. That's fine for "grown ups", but what sort of "childscape" is necessary to allow a child to develop that in any way resembles its parents?

Resembling your parents isn't necessarily a desirable trait; the most successful inhabitants of a virtual world are unlikely to resemble baseline humans in mental structure. But this isn't a bridge we should jump off of lightly.