Just Like Me Only Better

This article I’m reading: Just Like Me Only Better [2008], by Fragoso and Rosario, is about self-avatars in virtual environments. The article touches on the preferences for the human form, and tendency of the users to adopt contemporary ideals of beauty for their avatars.
I found the article to be unnecessarily dry for such a simple concept. The first half of it might have just been an informational packet about the game itself (Second Life); the many options available to users, and where the users were located globally.
Early in,  the article makes a reference to Erwin Goffman and his work The Representation of Self in Everyday Life (1959) and how people in all social interactions have a desire to regulate the impression that is transmitted to others (pg. 2). This concept applied to the 21st century game Second Life, means that avatars are a believable representation of how we want to be viewed by others. Majority of the avatars  studied were found to display western ideals of beauty, and be more attractive (than the users), despite the users coming from different national and ethnic origins. It could have been summarized as: having conventionally attractive avatars gives people a sense of ‘security’ online.
This article was printed in an Info-Tech publication about Cultural Attitudes Towards Technology and Communications, so I think the article was meant to be more about: how technology has allowed us to present a more attractive version of ourselves digitally, and how that affects our communication.


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