On the 25th February 2010 Stanford News published an article written by Christine Blackman on Can avatars change the way we think and act? After reading through the article it is mainly about people trying to use avatars to make people change their health. A quote that I found interesting was “according to a Stanford study showing that personalized avatars can motivate people to exercise and eat right” To me this shows that people getting influenced by avatars are not necessary a bad thing. Avatars can be used for good things for example if you lose weight by seeing you as an avatar running, when you do lose weight you become more confident, sociable and happy.
Another thing they mention in the article is what tests they used to gain these results, Jesse Fox who is a doctoral candidate used a virtual interaction lab to create avatars that resemble the person’s looks. People was watching their avatars show different results such as a person who is overweight, there avatar was becoming heavier.
Christine also talks about stereotypes that are in video games today such as grand theft auto where the females in the games are always seeing act of violence and are always exposed. Because most woman in video games are designed to have the perfect body and to be beautiful, woman believe that this is what they have to aspire to be beautiful. For example a woman who is very insecure, with no confidence could be inspired by her created avatar which would make her think that if she changed the way she is she could live a happier life, I believe this is a good thing, if an avatar that they aspire to be makes them more happier I don’t see what’s wrong with it, but then again that’s the way I think.
CHRISTINE BLACKMAN. (2010). Can avatars change the way we think and act?. Available: http://news.stanford.edu/news/2010/february22/avatar-behavior-study-022510.html. Last accessed 18/02/2013.