How Second Life Affects Real Life - TIME
One of the more remarkable things about this article is that it is appearing in Time Magazine. I like seeing this in the mainstream press. The article looks at research at Stanford that explores how a person's avatar can effect them in "real" life. I am glad the behavioralists at Stanford are catching up. A great description of this process is already found in Carl Jung. One of the reasons that I think teaching works in SL is the phenomenon of projection and transference.
"The possibilities are — virtually — endless. Inhabit buffed-up versions of yourself to lose weight, cuter versions of yourself to gain confidence, or older versions to start putting money away for the future (that last one is being studied at Stanford now). "The most stunning part is how subtle the manipulations are and how difficult they are to detect," says Bailenson, "but how much it affects real life later on."
This research really holds up. Ever since I created an avatar in Second Life, I just get better looking everyday.