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Perrie Juran

Can a macho video game avatar make you healthier?

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Solaria Goldshark wrote:


Perrie Juran wrote:

Could this be results from one of the many surveys we have done here?

"Time to reconsider the stereotype of doughy, fast food-guzzling online role players in dark basements. Strongly identifying with your avatar in virtual game worlds like "Second Life" could actually help make you healthier in the real world, research from the University of Missouri shows."

 

I'm wondering if maybe SL had a version much like the Nintendo Wii, or Xbox connect if that it would make users healthier.

What I can't quite wrap my head around yet is what that interface would look like with the abundance of pose balls.

The question would be are the pose balls controlling you or are you controlling the pose balls?

 

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On a serious note, imo anything we do that makes us feel good/happy/positive etc. makes us a little bit healthier - and vice versa. So using an environment like SL can make us healither or less healthy, depending on our experiences within in. If having a macho avatar makes the person feel good, then s/he will be better for it, healthwise. The same can be said of any avatar - macho or otherwise.

So, imo, as far as avatars are concerned, a macho avatar isn't a small key to being healthier. It's how the person feels about his/her avatar that can make a difference. It would probably mostly be positive though. So my answer to the OP's question is no, a macho avatar, in itself, does not make you healthier.

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That MIT video found something similar. Having an avatar who was doing healthy things, or who was fit, inspired people to be more healthy and or fit. If I remember that all correctly...?

I don't know, I think sitting too much at a computer desk tends to invoke the opposite of fitness, unless you also get an hour exercise per day to sort of balance it out.

They did find that games involving healthy foods and such would make people reach for healthy food and ignore the junk food in real life, but, I don't ever know if people behave the same in ANY lab setting as they would in total privacy at home. Even the fact someone's watching, especially if they find that someone cute, could influence behavior. Labs never seem to think so though.

Also I think sometimes the subject figures out the experiment and doesn't let on, but maybe I am giving them too much credit.

I don't know if having a macho avatar would help me be anything though. At least, not anything I'd want to be. LOL

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