Does a "sexualized" avatar invite disrespectful behavior online? While conducting an experiment to measure human empathy toward human actors compared with digital representations, researchers discovered a strange quirk: men judged the avatar pleading for sympathy more harshly than the actress.
An interesting (but slightly limited) study was recently posted on the Pixels and Policy blog, about attitudes towards "female avatars and gender expectations." The results? For many women players, it's easier to embrace sexualization than to fight it.
By now everyone's probably heard about the couple who divorced after the husband's virtual infidelity in the computer game "Second Life." Obviously, getting involved in these games can have real-life consequences. But for some people, the fantasy becomes reality in a good way: some virtual designers and entrepreneurs…