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2011 - International Communication Association Pages: unavailable || Words: 9039 words || 
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1. Kim, Youjeong. and Sundar, S. Shyam. "Can Your Avatar Improve Your Health? The Impact of Avatar Attractiveness and Avatar Creation" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the International Communication Association, TBA, Boston, MA, May 25, 2011 Online <PDF>. 2019-09-15 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p488992_index.html>
Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: As health communications enter virtual environments, an important consideration is the translation of virtual-world lessons into real-world behaviors. The locus of this translation is the avatar, which is the user’s online representation. Therefore, avatar characteristics may play a critical role in influencing health behaviors. This study investigates two characteristics—attractiveness and customization—by way of a 2 (attractive vs. unattractive avatar) x 2 (customized avatar vs. assigned avatar) between-subjects experiment (N = 95) involving interaction with a virtual health agent in Second Life. Behavior confirmation theory was invoked to predict that an attractive avatar would motivate users to undertake behaviors that would help them keep up this appearance in real life. The agency model of customization was used to propose that the sense of agency arising from the active construction of one’s avatar would motivate self-preserving behaviors. Results show support for the agency model, with implications for theory and practice.

2014 - International Communication Association 64th Annual Conference Pages: unavailable || Words: 8866 words || 
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2. Banks, Jaime. "Avatars Are (Sometimes) People Too: Linguistic Indicators of Parasocial and Social Ties in Player-Avatar Relationships" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the International Communication Association 64th Annual Conference, Seattle Sheraton Hotel, Seattle, Washington, May 21, 2014 Online <APPLICATION/PDF>. 2019-09-15 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p715487_index.html>
Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: As principal links between players and many gameworlds, avatars are of central importance to understanding human behavior and communication in play. In particular, the connection between player and avatar is understood as influencing a range of cognitive, affective, and behavioral play phenomena. Divergent approaches examine this connection from both parasocial (one-way, non-dialectical) and social (two-way, dialectical) perspectives. This study examined how player-avatar connections may be better understood by integrating an existing parasocial approach (character attachment; CA) with a social approach (player-avatar relationships; PAR). A quantitative linguistic analysis of player interviews revealed statistically robust associations among language patterns, dimensions of CA, and PAR types. Validating and extending prior research, findings highlight the importance of self-differentiation and anthropomorphization in suspending disbelief so that the avatar may be taken as a fully social agent.

2012 - International Communication Association Pages: unavailable || Words: 9261 words || 
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3. Ratan, Rabindra., Williams, Christelle. and Dawson, Michael. "The Avatar Shadow Passenger: Physiological Effects of Self-Presence After Disconnection From the Avatar" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the International Communication Association, Sheraton Phoenix Downtown, Phoenix, AZ, May 24, 2012 Online <APPLICATION/PDF>. 2019-09-15 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p553328_index.html>
Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: The present article examines the role of self-presence in the ways that people feel connected to their avatars after avatar use, thereby contributing to an understanding of how people are influenced by avatar use even when they are no longer using their avatars. Physiological measures of arousal (heart rate) and emotional valence (facial muscle movement) were taken after avatar use, while participants watched, without controlling, their avatars in a context where the avatars received negative treatment. The comparison of these measures to self-reported feelings of connection to their avatars (i.e., self-presence) suggests that people are more strongly affected by their avatars after avatar use when they develop greater emotion- or identity-level, but not body-level connections to their avatars during avatar use. These findings are relevant to a growing body of research on avatar use effects as well as to the development of virtual worlds and video games. The paper describes some of these implications and suggests future work based on the present findings.

2010 - International Communication Association Pages: unavailable || Words: 11526 words || 
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4. Trepte, Sabine., Reinecke, Leonard. and Behr, Katharina-Maria. "Avatar Creation and Video Game Enjoyment: Effects of Life-Satisfaction, Game Competitiveness, and Identification With the Avatar" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the International Communication Association, Suntec Singapore International Convention & Exhibition Centre, Suntec City, Singapore, Jun 21, 2010 Online <APPLICATION/PDF>. 2019-09-15 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p402224_index.html>
Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: The present study investigated the effect of game attributes (competitiveness) and player attributes (life satisfaction) on avatar choice and identification. In a quasi-experimental study, participants (N=666) were asked to choose the personality features of an avatar for six different game scenarios. The results demonstrate that both the games’ competitiveness as well as the participants’ life satisfaction influenced avatar choice and identification. Players created dissimilar avatars in competitive games and similar avatars in non-competitive games. Participants who were well satisfied with their lives created avatars that resemble themselves in terms of personality factors, whereas dissatisfied users created dissimilar avatars. Player-avatar-similarity was positively related to identification. This correlation was significantly stronger for non-competitive games. Identification with the avatar was strongly related to enjoyment. When controlling for the influence of identification on enjoyment, player-avatar-similarity was negatively related to enjoyment, suggesting that identity play can be an independent source of enjoyment in computer games.

2012 - ACTFL Annual Convention and World Languages Expo Words: 53 words || 
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5. Clark, Gloria. "Avatar Professor, Avatar Student: Teaching Culture in Second Life" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the ACTFL Annual Convention and World Languages Expo, Denver Convention Center, Denver, CO, Nov 17, 2012 <Not Available>. 2019-09-15 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p566071_index.html>
Publication Type: Electronic Poster
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: Real cultural competency comes from personal contact with a culture, something that is difficult to reproduce in the classroom. The Second Life virtual world affords opportunities for students to explore environments that are rich with cultural information. Through virtual exploration, students gain a personal understanding of culture and a new perspective.

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