Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Avatars could help us rethink ourselves


Your electronic doppelganger or alter ego, say University of Missouri researchers, can help you improve your health or appearance.

Harnessing the virtual world can even help eliminate prejudice.

The avatar you choose in virtual reality games can let you try on a new personality or body type.

For instance, you could choose a skinnier avatar and morph into it gradually. Or that is the theory. A diet could still be involved—and not a virtual one.

How deeply you identify with your avatar is called self-presence. This is considered good—or at least they haven’t found anything bad about it.

How about if taken too far—it could make you nuts?

The researchers also suggested taking an avatar of a different race or ethnicity—to see how that worked.

I am not sure what all this means—constant playing of video games? I notice on many commenting boards people have avatars that are babies or dogs.

Beats me.

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