digital nation - life on the virtual frontier


September 02, 2009 _ 12:05 / Rachel Dretzin / comments (0)

Recently we were out in Anaheim CA filming at BlizzCon, Blizzard Entertainment's massive annual convention for its biggest videogame franchises: World of Warcraft, Starcraft and Diablo. We spoke to dozens of hardcore gamers, most of whom didn't fit the stereotype of hardcore gamers at all. A bunch of them were parents, professionals: people who saw video gaming as a profoundly rewarding hobby in their lives.

In some of the interviews, people told us about ways in which their actions in the game world have given them more confidence in the real one:

This reminded me of the studies Jeremy Bailenson has done at Stanford's Virtual Human Interaction lab, where he gives people a tall avatar in a virtual world, and then has them conduct a negotiation in real life with someone who is the same size they are. He finds that people are more successful and confident negotiators if they have a tall avatar, even if in real life they have no height advantage. See him talk about his studies here.
We'll have more from our BlizzCon experience coming up.

- Rachel





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posted February 2, 2010

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