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  1. New Study On Virtual Avatar Skin Color Demonstrates Why Diversity Matters

    This stuff is important, guys.

    Massive multiplayer online games are great because they allow you to become any type of person you want to be. Of course, most people are pretty egocentric and still find it more fun to create characters who look vaguely like them in some way on the first go-around. But for those whose skin colors aren't as widely represented in the gaming world, MMOs are an entirely different experience.

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  2. Apparently Dudes Who Use Female Avatars In MMORPGs Aren’t Doing It Right

    There's more to being a lady than using winking smiley faces, guys!

    You can play literally any type of character you want in most MMORPGs. Feel like being a dwarf? Awesome. A shapeshifer? Go for it. So of course some curious players are going to wonder what it's like to be a gender other than the one they identify as. But when male players try to roleplay female characters, they start acting kinda weird. Like, really weird.

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  3. Designing Your Own Character Makes Virtual Environments Seem More Daunting

    If game designers want us to really be able to relate to their characters, there may be one easy solution -- let us design them ourselves. A new study being presented today at the Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems suggests that designing your own digital avatar makes you more connected with it, a bond that can influence how you see and interact with the virtual landscape,  and makes the hardships that character experiences seem more real to its controller. 

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  4. Female Avatars in Second Life Wear More Revealing Clothes Than Male Counterparts

    In keeping with trends set by pretty much every video game and adolescent male fantasy in the history of forever, female avatars in the digital realm are more likely to be scantily clad than their male counterparts. That's according to a study of digital fashion in online play space Second Life by researchers at Laval University, who we'd like to thank for reminding us that Second Life is still, apparently, a thing.

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  5. Twitter Finally Stops GIF Avatars, Gone Are the Halcyon Days of the Past

    Animated Twitter avatars are both the bane and glory of the service. To be fair, the same can be said about the Internet in general. However, unlike with the Internet, Twitter is run by a single entity with the capability to shut the GIF train down, and that's exactly what they've done. As of now, the loopholes that previously allowed animated GIF avatars have been closed.

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  6. Human Facebook Default Avatars

    In "Human Facebook Default Avatars," Thomas M., a.k.a. "TWO," photographs subjects all powdered up to look like Facebook's generic avatars for people without photographs. Why? Supposedly to "humanize the Facebook default avatar provided at the first login," but probably also just because it's a fun idea. (via TDW | Artist's (what else?) Facebook page)

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