In-universe and in commentary here in the Matrix (err,
The Real World), people often say something to the effect of "Well, SAO players wouldn't be interested in jumping back into a VMMO that quick", for example in this answer that says
During this period of time, I would assume that it's unlikely for any SAO survivor to play another VRMMO when they had just been through a life and death experience.
I think there are a few reasons why some people would be unaffected, or even happy to jump back into the game:
- Their experience in the game wasn't bad. Some people just chilled out and were probably "bored to death", but didn't otherwise have a terrible experience.
Good Experience and wants more
- In episode 1, Kirito mentions that he was very excited about the game while playing the beta, was happy to be back, and felt at home in the game. He, and many players, are substantially more powerful in the game world than in the real world. This can give anything between a buzz and an addictive high that players would want more of.
- Not all the players live close enough to meet up IRL like the main cast, so some players might want to meet up with people they spent 2 years of their life with. Aside from Don Ruffles, the players all know the real faces and mannerisms of the people they played with, and would thus be closer than people could be from message boards and current MMORPGs.
Why is it therefore assumed that most players would feel that the NerveGear, or even the AmuShpere, are anethma?