Our Most Shared Posts From Last Week

Last week was a great one for Pixels and Policy. Some of our articles found their way onto other websites and even into a press release! Now we're sharing our top five most networked articles from last week!

1. Media Hype Could Permanently Damage Augmented Reality

Excessive hype could end up hurting augmented reality's development. Instead of refining and optimizing augmented reality, developers may rush out subpar, buggy products to meet spiking public interest in the complicated technology. That would be a shame, as augmented reality could be a truly revoltionary technology.

2. Unattractive Avatars Promote Negative Self Images


According to the University of Texas study, an ugly avatar might result not only in social isolation in-world, but the unattractive appearance of a player's avatar could bleed over into the player's perception of themselves.


3. Zynga's Virtual Currency System Comes Under Heavy Fire

Investigative blog Techdirt and Mike Arrington of TechCrunch took Zynga to task for drawing a huge revenue stream from what they argued are questionable contracts, intensive marketing to children, and developer-created scarcity.

4. New York Educators Discuss Virtual Worlds as Teaching Tools

New York's 2009 Technology Summit sought to change public education's noted hesitance towards the virtual world by bringing together educators, industry experts and virtual world users in one student-focused brainstorming session, nothing the "increasingly fundamental role" technologies like virtual worlds play in students' lives.

5. Real-World Companies Shift Course in Metaverse Marketing

A corporate presence in Second Life needn't be all bad, especially if companies began to shift from their current position to one that encourages the creation of unique events and content, and promotes a more respectful advertising strategy to potential virtual customers.

University of Texas: Unattractive Avatars Promote Negative Self Images

University of Texas Austin campus at sunset-dusk - aerial view
University of Texas Austin campus at sunset-dusk – aerial view

As virtual world programs continue to expand into universities around the country, we’re getting the first taste of serious virtual world research.

A new University of Texas study reports that the appearance of an avatar might have a negative effect on the self-image of the player.

Pixels and Policy looks at recent work from the University of Texas, one of the largest virtual world education projects in the country, that may spread doubt about the utility of widespread use of virtual worlds in education.

Continue reading University of Texas: Unattractive Avatars Promote Negative Self Images