One of the most interesting areas of study in virtual worlds has to do not with what we bring into the environment, but how an entirely virtual ecosystem changes the real-world player. Stanford University has been doing some very interesting research on the subject, and one of their most recent findings has the mainstream media paying attention.
According to research recently released by the Stanford University Virtual Human Interaction Lab, one of the leading virtual world research facilities in the country, players can be heavily influenced by what their avatar is doing.
Today we look at the first in a two-part breakdown of Stanford's most recent study. Today's article focuses on the potential business implications of the VHIL's findings. Saturday we'll take a look at what these findings tell us about the sociology and psychology of gamers and their avatars.