According to findings at Stanford University, it may actually help people to have an avatar, which has implications for "residents" of Teen Second Life, Whyville.net, and of course grownup versions of virtual worlds. It has a lot to do with what having a virtual self can do for offline self-image, according to this NPR report. At Stanford's Virtual Human Interaction Lab, people visit for a new approach to losing weight, for example. They take photographs of the visitor's head, create an attractive avatar, or graphical image, of him and show this attractive self running – he actually sees himself losing weight, which seems to encourage him by showing him just how very possible it is to lose weight. So he proceeds to "try this at home" and virtual reality becomes reality. The lab also studies virtual identity. Lab researcher Jeremy Bailenson told NPR that as people with attractive avatars spend more and more time as their virtual selves, they tend to become more social – their confidence level goes up.
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NetFamilyNews – by Anne Collier
- Mobile rules in the US now too
- What are we really seeing in the social media fishbowl?
- Spoiler alert: Kid loves teaching Twitter to Dad
- At the IGF: Youth participation = greater youth e-safety
- Enabling peer protection: Knowledge is empowerment
- Millennials’ changing social media use: Survey
- Heard of Twitch? Amazon has!
- Dealing with the nasties online
Analysis & News – by Larry Magid
- High school kids show strong support for First Amendment
- UN bringing child rights into the digital age
- IGF attendees complain about censorship in Turkey while some advocate it for youth
- Internet Governance Forum topics include human rights, network neutrality and child protection
- Protecting children online needs to allow for their right to free speech
- It’s time for schools to upgrade both technology and pedagogy
- Why Google (and Facebook) should admit kids under 13
- As Ferguson struggles, Georgia teens create app to rate police departments