An Explorative Study on the Virtual World: Investigating the Avatar Gender and Avatar Age Differences in their Social Interactions for Help-Seeking

Yulei Gavin Zhang, Mandy Yan Dang, Hsinchun Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This study investigates avatars’ gender and age differences in their help-seeking interactions in virtual worlds. Specifically, we conducted data collections from two popular help-supporting regions from Second Life, and performed two levels of analyses. We first examined the existence of the overall gender and age differences, and then compared and tested the detailed differences by creating three types of interaction networks based on avatar gender and avatar age, respectively. Overall, we found that the interaction networks of the same gender tended to be more centralized than the interaction networks with mixed genders. In addition, the interaction networks of the same age group tended to be more centralized than the interaction networks with mixed ages. We also found that old-aged avatars had significantly higher values than young-aged avatars in all measurement dimensions, indicating that old-aged avatars played more important roles in help-seeking interactions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalInformation Systems Frontiers
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Avatar
Virtual Worlds
Social Interaction
Interaction
Second Life
Gender

Keywords

  • Avatar age differences
  • Avatar gender differences
  • Second life
  • Social interactions
  • Virtual worlds

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • Information Systems
  • Computer Networks and Communications

Cite this

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title = "An Explorative Study on the Virtual World: Investigating the Avatar Gender and Avatar Age Differences in their Social Interactions for Help-Seeking",
abstract = "This study investigates avatars’ gender and age differences in their help-seeking interactions in virtual worlds. Specifically, we conducted data collections from two popular help-supporting regions from Second Life, and performed two levels of analyses. We first examined the existence of the overall gender and age differences, and then compared and tested the detailed differences by creating three types of interaction networks based on avatar gender and avatar age, respectively. Overall, we found that the interaction networks of the same gender tended to be more centralized than the interaction networks with mixed genders. In addition, the interaction networks of the same age group tended to be more centralized than the interaction networks with mixed ages. We also found that old-aged avatars had significantly higher values than young-aged avatars in all measurement dimensions, indicating that old-aged avatars played more important roles in help-seeking interactions.",
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