Main Nav

Avatar facial image that I see can be based on what's available, cost, platform, graphics card. People keep old skins  with less refined details for sentimental reasons, sometimes. How could I judge based on appearance of the face?  

Sent from my iPhone;
-- please excuse typos!

On Mar 7, 2013, at 22:13, "Norma Jean Hewlett" <hewlett@USFCA.EDU> wrote:

Sorry. I tried to take the survey, but I find it impossible to judge a person's trustworthiness by looking at their face. Even if they are an avatar. The entire concept seems very odd to me.


Message from

I also took the survey and thought, "nah, there's not enough here to make these judgements".  Actually in SL I do make judgements about people all the time based on their avatar and behaviour.  I particularly note the AO animations that people have chosen and tend to avoid people whose animations portray boredom, snobbery, etc. If you are looking at the bottom of your shoe when I am talking to you, I won't be talking to you long.


Message from

I do notice changes in the folks I communicate with often.  I notice when someone has tweaked their AV, even if it is just a change in eye color or increased the length of their neck or new skin or yes…a new AO. Sometimes I do not know what they have done, but something is different.  In Second Life, just as in Real, I can immediately create a feeling of “I think I would like that person” or I want nothing to do with him or her.  I do cam in often on AV faces.  It is a combination of things that make me feel ‘nothing, apprehension, or comfortable’… just as in Real.  When I took the survey, I was thinking of Real and how and if I make judgments by the way someone looks. Are their eyes close set? Are they wide eyed with interest? Do they have laugh lines?  When I stand in the front of a class for the first time, and I look at the faces of my students, do I assign a “pre-get to know them” feeling about their trustworthiness or honesty?  If nothing else, the survey gave me cause to look inside myself to see if I have hidden bias. 


Ajunct Faculty for COBH

Primary eMail:

Barbara Knight Chamberlain, MPH, CHES, MOS

Technology Development Coordinator

Academic Technology and The Office of eLearning and Online Education

Office PH (423)  439-8615

Mobile (423) 426 3761




From: The EDUCAUSE Virtual Worlds Constituent Group Listserv [mailto:VW@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU] On Behalf Of Sharon Collingwood
Sent: Monday, March 11, 2013 6:12 PM
Subject: Re: [VW] Survey on Perception of Avatar Personality


I have to agree with Kate - 


Is there anyone on this list who can actually recognize an avatar, even someone they see every day, solely through an image of their avatar's face? I don't think so.  Maybe people have better computers than mine, but I can't see my student's faces, and I don't usually try.  Like Kate, I make my judgments on other choices - standard avatar clothing & hair? modified clothing? butterfly wings?  These betray stages of student immersion and creativity.


And the AO's - I hear you, Kate!  I, too, form very negative opinions that way.


I'd argue that the avatar's face is designed to please the avatar's user, not other people.



Message from

I agree with Kate too :)
Most of the time I'm not zoomed in closely enough to actually notice details of the avatar's face. But I do notice the avatar's overall appearance and how they move, and I use my perception of this when forming my first impressions of somebody on SecondLife.

Also, it's very common for me to know somebody through a SL groujp chat long before I actually meet them inworld. How they express themselves in chat is a major factor in whether I even want to meet them.
Jean Hewlett

Message from

Barbara and Kate speak to the exact reason why I will not finish a problematic study, even as a favor.
I will not reward a researcher with data if I can see obvious design flaws in the experiment of how that data is likely to be read.  I don't want more generally ill-formed ideas of "what happens" in Second Life, now supported by numbers....

Quantitative data should be exactly that: quantifiable.  All terms should be explicitly defined, unless the study is designed to question what the term means.

If they want our personal opinions and reasons, they would be asking us for interviews.
Unfortunately for most social researchers who want to extrapolate numbers, SL is generally an environment that lends itself better to qualitative study; that is, if you want something else than the kind of data that Tyche Shepherd generates at gridsurvey.

When I was designing studies, one of my teachers encouraged EVERYONE who was not completely comfortable with the study to leave the room.  When one girl had 30 participants sign up, and then 27 of them walked out, it was a REAL teaching moment.   

- Deanya 


View dates and locations

Events for all Levels and Interests

Whether you're looking for a conference to attend face-to-face to connect with peers, or for an online event for team professional development, see what's upcoming.


EDUCAUSE Institute
Leadership/Management Programs
Explore More

Career Center

Leadership and Management Programs

EDUCAUSE Institute
Project Management



Jump Start Your Career Growth

Explore EDUCAUSE professional development opportunities that match your career aspirations and desired level of time investment through our interactive online guide.


EDUCAUSE organizes its efforts around three IT Focus Areas



Join These Programs If Your Focus Is


Get on the Higher Ed IT Map

Employees of EDUCAUSE member institutions and organizations are invited to create individual profiles.



2014 Strategic Priorities

  • Building the Profession
  • IT as a Game Changer
  • Foundations

Learn More >

Uncommon Thinking for the Common Good™

EDUCAUSE is the foremost community of higher education IT leaders and professionals.