Stanford University

Portrait of an Artist as an Avatar, New York Times Magazine

VHIL research shows that avatars may represent more than wishful thinking on the part of the real people who inhabit them. New York Times Magazine »

Excerpt

Scientists at Stanford’s Virtual Human Interaction Lab have found that avatars, with their artificial beauty and fantastical lifestyles, may represent more than wishful thinking on the part of the real people who create them; they may actually help bring those wishes to bear. People trying to lose weight are more apt to accomplish their goals when they spend time using a thin avatar. Someone looking to become more self-confident improves more quickly in real life after adopting an avatar that is good-looking. Whatever their shortcomings, virtual worlds are insistently, even defiantly, aspirational places.

Avatar on Treadmill

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