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People are looking to VR as a form of escapism Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

With Brexit looming and Trump in the White House, virtual reality may have come at the perfect time. According to a new survey, one in five of us would prefer to live in a virtual world rather than the real world, with many citing recent tidal shifts in global politics as the reason for fleeing the physical realm.

In a study of 1,000 UK residents aged 18 and over, 17% said they would prefer to live in a virtual universe than their existing reality. Apparently, Donald Trump's inauguration and the prospect of the UK leaving Europe was reason enough for 22% of respondents wanting to live in a computerised world.

Other reasons for wanting to switch reality for virtual reality are less depressing: nearly half (46%) said they would like to visit "extraordinary" places such as Mars and Gotham City, home of Batman.

Speaking of The Bat, one-third of respondents said they would like to live in a virtual universe where it would be possible to chinwag with superheroes like Superman, the Hulk and Captain America.

People living in London were found to be the individuals most desperate to ditch reality for a virtual alternative, with 25% and 19% of saying so respectively. Overall, men were more likely to say they'd prefer to live in virtual reality than women.

The survey was carried out by OnePoll and commissioned by Geekzonia, an under-development social VR platform that hopes to be the first of its kind when it launches later in 2017.

Social VR is a concept whereby social media users will be able to put on a VR headset and "meet" each other in virtual words, with Facebook being a notable proponent of the technology.

Geekzonia CEO Peter Dobson said: "It's no surprise that people are experiencing a sudden desire to live in a virtual universe. Virtual reality has the potential to make people feel invincible but also allows them to meet other like-minded people from around the world without needing to leave the house.

"The level of connectivity and surreal experiences virtual reality enables us is thrilling and gives us the opportunity to escape some of today's harsh realities."