Yesterday I shared some sobering statistics related to the how appearance affects our job prospects, income, and therefore lifestyles, in the non-virtual world.
After a little digging for appearance statistics in the virtual world, I came across a 2007 study initiated by the US Congressional Internet Caucus Advisory Committee and conducted by Zogby International that asked 3,585 adults questions relating to attitudes to technology.
The question resulting in the chart above was:
Some people are now participating in virtual worlds such as Second Life. Let’s say you’re creating a virtual you in the virtual world. Would you dramatically alter the avatar’s physical appearance from your own?
In the blue and orange segments, we have what we might refer to as “Augmentalists” – or people who view their avatar as an extension of their real world persona. In the yellow segment, we have what we might refer to as “Immersionists”, people who view their virtual world presence as mutually exclusive from the non-virtual world. Augmentalists customise their avatar to resemble their real world appearance, whereas immersionists might change any aspect of their appearance, take on new personas, or even change their gender or ethnicity.
On this basis, people interpreting this research might conclude that most virtual world residents are keen to model their avatars to mirror themselves.
Looking at this chart, something doesn’t really square, does it? If people’s intentions of what they said they would do translated into what they actually did, then it suggests that Second Life attracts a considerably higher proportion of hyper-attractive people, doesn’t it? Unless I’m reading this wrong, this chart would suggest that at least 6/10 of us are actually perfect super-models in the non-virtual world too! Do beautiful people just happen to love Second Life? Or, are we saying one thing while doing another?
Tell me, in this anonymous poll…
Join me to discuss this topic at the Basilique Salon, Wednesday at 1PM in Second Life. If you can’t make it at that time inworld, then leave your views below and I’ll try to share them during the session.