Study: MMO Avatars Affected By Racial Discrimination

A Northwestern University study found out that virtual avatars created by MMO players are subjected to the same level of racial discrimination as their real world lookalikes.

"White avatars in the DITF experiment received about a 20 percent increase in compliance with the moderate request", reads the study. "However, the increase for the dark-toned avatars was 8 percent... The finding is consistent with previous DITF studies - in real and virtual worlds - that demonstrate that physical characteristics, such as race, gender and physical attractiveness, affect judgment of others."

"This study suggests that interactions among strangers within the virtual world are very similar to interactions between strangers in the real world", Researcher Paul Eastwick commented. "You would think when you're wandering around this fantasyland ... that you might behave differently. But people exhibited the same type of behaviour - and the same type of racial bias - that they show in the real world all the time."

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Study: MMO Avatars Affected By Racial Discrimination

Who cares? No one says you have to play as a black man in a fantasy game... don't like how your being treated? Then create a blond bombshell and ask for favors... I seriously hope this was just some lame homework assignment and not a study to determine anything important enough to make a difference. I've played as women & other races even though I'm a white guy...

Study: MMO Avatars Affected By Racial Discrimination

Most encounters in the virtual world do not even involve seeing a person's avatar, so why would there be racial discrimination? Was there any consideration for the language in a person's messages that might indicate a person's ethnic background, that likely corresponds to their avatar's race? This study sounds bogus and ridiculously out of touch with how social encounters in MMOs work.

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