Stanford University

Avatars

Ahn, S.J., Fox, J., & Bailenson, J.N. (2012). Avatars. In Bainbridge, W. S. (Ed.), Leadership in Science and Technology: A Reference Handbook. SAGE Publications.

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Abstract

Avatars, a word once uttered by only hardcore gamers and science fiction fans, have begun to make their way into living rooms across the world. Their infiltration into our everyday lives has grown from a subtle trend to a suddenly marked phenomenon. Avatars appear as virtual sales associates that assist consumers on websites and as feature realistic digital representations that move in sync with the players’ movements in console video games, such as Microsoft’s Kinect or Nintendo’s Wii. Online worlds, massively multiplayer online role playing games (MMOs), and video games, are quickly becoming one of the most popular forms of media entertainment.

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