Yesterday we discussed the potential business applications of Stanford's recent study on avatars and their real-world impact on player behaviors. Companies, we argued, can take advantage of a player's tendency to mimic the behaviors of their avatar by pumping effort into making avatars look more like their real-life counterparts.
Stanford's study also addressed another, more serious matter: In some circumstances, the appearance of avatars in a virtual space can affect how we assess real-world situations. The bad news? It isn't all fun and games, especially when it comes to super-sexualized female avatars like those in World of Warcraft and other online games.
Pixels and Policy takes a look at why avatars change the way we view the real world, and the potential problems super-sexualization creates in both the real and virtual spheres.