Read your above argument that the zero's and ones of a video game character constitute goal-oriented behavior in the real world, rather than the logic of a programmer creating the illusion of such.
I don't recognize the "real" versus "illusion" distinction you are attempting to assert.
How a rational science-based viewpoint, becomes valid, is through data measured with universally recognized units of measure. Things, events and processes that have no measurable values are not considered to be physically real. Virtual events do not have measured values of mass, extension or force..
That's how you can tell real beings apart from virtual entities. Reacting emotionally to virtual events brings a virtual effect into reality, but only in the sense that the mutual information transferred to the person has electro-chemical responses. Belief in virtual agents, as alive and meaningful, like living beings is delusion and know as reification.
Note that reification is generally accepted in literature and other forms of discourse where reified abstractions are understood to be intended metaphorically, but the use of reification in logical arguments is usually regarded as a fallacy. In rhetoric, it may be sometimes difficult to determine if reification was used correctly or incorrectly.
Output from information processing does have measured effects - such as design, logical relations and organization of resources. These units of measure are specified in information science. Reification on the virtual level - is a term pointing to an information process with actual measurable effects. (look up reification in computer science)
The output of higher mind such as compassion, loving care and emotional joy - have yet to be measured systemically.
This entire rant by you was utterly and completely irrelevant.
Intentional states are states of behavioral disposition that conform to cultural norms of behavior.You do not measure them. When an agent's behaviors conform to the norms for an intentional state, it is valid to attribute that intentional state to that agent. It doesn't matter what the agent is made of or whether it exists in a virtual world.