The Influence of Interactive Context on Avatar Appearance in Second Life

By Mark Mabrito.

Published by The International Journal of Technologies in Learning

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: March 11, 2014 $US5.00

The article presents a research project where students (new to the virtual world of Second Life) performed two separate tasks with their avatars: a task that involved a high degree of interaction with other inworld avatars and a task that involved a minimal amount of interaction. In both instances, students detailed in journal entries the changes they made to their avatars, along with their reasons why, while completing both tasks. Students also completed a brief survey after each task, assessing their attitudes towards their avatars. Study found that students made more changes to their avatars in high-interactive contexts as compared to low-interactive contexts, with most of these changes focused on dress and facial appearances. Students further reported similarities between their avatars and their real-life selves in both contexts.

Keywords: Second Life, Avatars, Virtual Worlds

International Journal of Technologies in Learning, Volume 20, Issue 1, March 2014, pp.37-46. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: March 11, 2014 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 410.154KB)).

Dr. Mark Mabrito

Associate Professor of English, English Department, Purdue University Calumet, Hammond, IN, USA

Mark Mabrito is an associate professor of English at Purdue University Calumet since 1989, where he has taught courses in new media, professional writing, and web design. His research interests include new media, immersive virtual environments, workplace writing, online pedagogy, and online communication.