Empathy in virtual worlds

empathy

What Do People’s Online Avatars Say About Them?

Online avatars — visual representations of human beings — are everywhere these days. From mainstream examples, like the photos or other images Gmail users use to represent themselves, to extravagant armor-clad monsters in role-playing games, it’s becoming increasingly common for people to go through the process of deciding how they want to be represented in an online space. But what goes into that decision? What can a given avatar tell us about the person who created it? It’s a hot area of study given the proliferation of interesting online worlds, and a new study in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin by Katrina Fong and Raymond Mar of York University seeks to shed some light on it. ….[READ]

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