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Video game avatars can go to your head, study says

The characters that video game users choose for themselves - their avatars - can affect their thoughts and emotions in those virtual environments, whether it's Mario or Luigi or the colors of a football uniform, according to research by a University of Texas communication studies professor.

In two similar experiments, assistant professor Jorge Peña found that gamers using negative avatars - such as those wearing black cloaks - exhibited aggressive and antisocial behaviors in team exercises. The study, "The Priming Effects of Avatars in Virtual Settings," will be published in the December issue of Communication Research, a national publication.

The first experiment randomly assigned either black- or white-robed avatars to gamers playing "Jedi Knight II." The second experiment assigned gamers roles as Ku Klux Klan members or physicians in a virtual museum. The control group was assigned transparent figures.

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Myst3009d ago (Edited 3009d ago )

Interesting study.

Something I could really see being truthful because in a way I suppose people in there minds would like to at least in some way imitate or be as 'cool' as the avatar/character they are portraying; but they also have a sense of realism instilled in there minds so they know they more than likely can't become the whole of who they are playing as. Thus there personality more than likely takes roll of what they are playing as to at least give them a sense of it.

Personal Example (though it deals with anime)
started watching one piece again, was reminded of how cool Roronoa Zoro is and how he puts his pride on the line, thus I've started to do it again even though my own katana bit the dust some years ago; but now I plan to get some wooden ones and get back into martial arts training because of it.

So yeah, even though it isn't really a video game ( even though it is I just haven't played it ) I'd say that character could have a powerful impact.

NiteX3009d ago

I wouldn't mind some of those hawt female avatars going to my head... if ya know what I mean. Giggity!

djfullshred3009d ago

Do style of avatars change how you would play the game, or is it really the case people create their avatars to represent how they intend to play all along? In games that let you be good or evil, I would think most players already know what side they want to be on before even starting the game.