The virtual is associated with many meanings and therefore often evades analysis. Among these, some refer to the technical field, others consider the virtual as a concept, and, finally, other meanings relate to imagination. The challenge and ambition of this issue are to take stock of its various meanings, a first step to deconstruct and understand the virtual. The second necessary step then implies reducing its scope. This issue therefore brings together the analyses of researchers, who, ultimately, question the virtual by studying Massively Multiplayer Online Games (MMOGs), virtual worlds (i.e. Second Life), serious games or online dating sites.