Sail's Pedagogy

Sail's posts about her class, classes she is taking, and education.

Our Avatars, Our Selves: Gender and Second Life

on November 8, 2009

It seems instead of fighting the stereotypes of women, female avatars are embracing them.

“In this study, the biases, prejudices, and beauty standards from the real world follow us into the virtual realm. Interestingly, these ideas were not ascribed to conforming to pre-existing ideas of beauty, but as a virtual beautification process – a way in which to represent an idealized version of our existing real world selves.”

Katherine Isbister in her book “Better Game Characters by Design” , said that “Studies have shown that many qualities are attributed to people with attractive features–sometimes referred to as the halo effect. These qualities include being seen as warmer, kinder, stronger, more sensible, more outgoing, more socially persuasive and dominant, and even smarter than others.

Oversexualized avatars are so prevalent that they have become part of the visual norm and need to be attractive, slender, and somewhat sexualized.


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