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
- Heard of Twitch? Amazon has!
- Dealing with the nasties online
- Leadership in bullying prevention and so much more
- Kindness really could be going viral! Just look…
- More clarity on teens’ ‘Am I pretty?’ videos
- A bit of videogaming is good for kids: Study
- Virginia teen sexting case: (Somewhat) reduced injustice
- ‘Revenge porn’: Exposing cruel disclosure
Analysis & News – by Larry Magid
- 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
- Tech can make driving dangerous, but also safer
- IAC’s Ask.com buys Ask.fm and hires a safety officer to stem bullying
- Massive data breach shows skills of Russian hackers
- Google to reward sites with HTTPS security in search rankings
- Five teens & ‘one mature adult’ create Push for Pizza app