Saturday, January 1, 2011

Research Update: Life of the Avatars

To begin this blog and this new year, just a small update on a very good paper (ok, I may be a bit biased) that we published a few months ago. This paper deals with a field of cyberbehavior in which I have a special interest: the multimodal aspects of avatar embodiement process ... and in this paper, we show that this multimodal process begins as early as the avatar creation. We analyzed the name structure of socially active avatars of the MMORPG World of Warcraft (should I REALLY explain what World of Warcraft is?) as a function of their visual aspect. What we discovered was most surprising, and most interesting: for female avatars, we observed a clear hyper-feminization of the name of the avatars that are farthest way from ressembling the standard visual aspect of a female human. In other words, there is a compensation between name structure and visual aspect of avatars.

Guitton MJ (2010) Cross-modal compensation between name and visual aspect in socially active avatars. Computers in Human Behavior, 26:1772-1776.

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