Analyzing the Effect of Avatar Self-Similarity on Men and Women in a Search and Rescue Game (bibtex)
by Helen Wauck, Gale Lucas, Ari Shapiro, Andrew Feng, Jill Boberg, Jonathan Gratch
Abstract:
A crucial aspect of virtual gaming experiences is the avatar: the player's virtual self-representation. While research has demonstrated benefits to using self-similar avatars in some virtual experiences, such avatars sometimes produce a more negative experience for women. To help researchers and game designers assess the cost-benefit tradeoffs of self-similar avatars, we compared players' performance and subjective experience in a search and rescue computer game when using two different photorealistic avatars: their own self or a friend, and when playing either a social (rescuing people) or a nonsocial (rescuing gems) version of the game. There was no effect of avatar appearance on players' performance or subjective experience in either game version, but we also found that women's experience with self-similar avatars was no more negative than men's. Our results suggest that avatar appearance may not make a difference to players in certain game contexts.
Reference:
Analyzing the Effect of Avatar Self-Similarity on Men and Women in a Search and Rescue Game (Helen Wauck, Gale Lucas, Ari Shapiro, Andrew Feng, Jill Boberg, Jonathan Gratch), In Proceedings of the 2018 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, ACM Press, 2018.
Bibtex Entry:
@inproceedings{wauck_analyzing_2018,
	address = {Montreal, Canada},
	title = {Analyzing the {Effect} of {Avatar} {Self}-{Similarity} on {Men} and {Women} in a {Search} and {Rescue} {Game}},
	isbn = {978-1-4503-5620-6},
	url = {http://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?doid=3173574.3174059},
	doi = {10.1145/3173574.3174059},
	abstract = {A crucial aspect of virtual gaming experiences is the avatar: the player's virtual self-representation. While research has demonstrated benefits to using self-similar avatars in some virtual experiences, such avatars sometimes produce a more negative experience for women. To help researchers and game designers assess the cost-benefit tradeoffs of self-similar avatars, we compared players' performance and subjective experience in a search and rescue computer game when using two different photorealistic avatars: their own self or a friend, and when playing either a social (rescuing people) or a nonsocial (rescuing gems) version of the game. There was no effect of avatar appearance on players' performance or subjective experience in either game version, but we also found that women's experience with self-similar avatars was no more negative than men's. Our results suggest that avatar appearance may not make a difference to players in certain game contexts.},
	booktitle = {Proceedings of the 2018 {CHI} {Conference} on {Human} {Factors} in {Computing} {Systems}},
	publisher = {ACM Press},
	author = {Wauck, Helen and Lucas, Gale and Shapiro, Ari and Feng, Andrew and Boberg, Jill and Gratch, Jonathan},
	month = apr,
	year = {2018},
	keywords = {UARC, Virtual Humans},
	pages = {1--12}
}
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