Article: Get a Second Life – First published on the NLP Life Training News Letter








February 21, 2011

boellstorffTom Boellstorff’s groundbreaking book, Coming of Age in Second Life: An Anthropologist Explores the Virtually Human, shows how avatars form communities and social networks that can be studied using the methods of social anthropology. Tom’s work on virtual worlds has been praised by his colleagues as “cutting edge anthropology at its best — hip, smart, theoretically sophisticated, and with its head screwed on straight.” He is both Professor of Anthropology at the University of California, Irvine and Editor-in-Chief of the American Anthropologist — the flagship journal of the American Anthropological Association.


Academics study the avatar life and like what they see

Excerpted quote.

“Martey’s research has shown, surprisingly, that even in virtual environments (where we’re tied only to our imaginations, not our bodies) we tend to carry much of our real-world baggage. That holds immediate applications for business and leadership training, not to mention philosophical debates about the design of games in which millions of people spend the majority of their free time.”

Finding Identity in a virtual World

The Real Avatar: Swiss Researchers Use Virtual Reality and Brain Imaging to Hunt for the Science of the Self

“Once subjects can no longer distinguish between the real and the virtual self, cognitive science and brain imaging may be able to glimpse the causal mechanisms of self-consciousness and solve the mystery of the “I” once and for all.”

Innovative Virtual Reality Exposure Therapy Shows Promise for Returning Troops

“It is possible that virtual reality exposure therapy would provide a more appealing treatment option to a young, technologically savvy generation of service members and veterans. In addition, it is possible that a treatment option like virtual reality exposure would be viewed by some service members as less stigmatizing than traditional treatment approaches. If accurate, virtual reality exposure therapy might provide us with the opportunity to treat service members and veterans who may not otherwise seek help.”


Second Life Therapy Sessions – Get A (Second) Life


What Does Your Avatar Say About You?

Old or young, beautiful or sinister — the choices are endless when designing an avatar or a virtual alter ego. In the end, do people choose one that is really different from themselves? Usually not, according to new Concordia University research that shows in most cases, avatars reflect the personality of their creators. The study, published in next month’s issue of Psychology and Marketing, has implications for real-life companies who would like to reach both the virtual and real-world markets.


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