COM370 Intercultural Communication

COM370 Intercultural Communication

The use of avatars in social environments and e-commerce has increased in the past few years. The physical characteristics and personalities of these avatars significantly influence communication and the identities of the people they represent (Chapter 13). In the virtual world, people strive to reduce uncertainty to enhance their interactions with others. Avatars are used as means of providing identification, recognition, and evaluation of other people in the mediated world with geographically distant communication. Since avatars are a visible representation of people, evaluations based on avatars’ physical appearance may be transferred to them. By learning the physical characteristics and personalities of representative avatars individuals can effectively communicate with each other. Avatars also represent people’s identities and aspects of their personality (Levine, 2007). The identity of the avatars is often created based on the roles they are expected to take and the user’s characteristics. They act as a means of impression management and accurate expression of a person’s self.

Virtual worlds significantly perpetuate stereotypes, especially in online gaming. Freeman & Maloney (2021), conducted a study on how people interact in virtual worlds using avatars and found out that women are likely to receive less help compared to men when they are operating using unattractive avatars. Appearance stereotypes largely affect people not only in the real world but also in virtual worlds. Women are likely to face negative outcomes based on their physical appearance compared to men. Nonetheless, today’s video games are filled with the most sexist representation of women (Chapter 14). There are many biased depictions of women in video games portraying them as passive beings, sex objects to win, and kidnapped princesses to be rescued.

Monster hearts are set in the Teen Horror genre, inspired by shows and films including Ginger Snaps, and Jennifer’s Body. I was playing The Queen – the status-conscious who had no supernatural powers, but a clique around her, and mine was a control freak. Nonverbal communication plays a significant role in the behavior of people in virtual communities since it enables individuals to coordinate without distractions (Freeman & Maloney, 2021). In video games nonverbal communication allows individuals to effectively achieve victory. Some games have pings alerts used for communication are easy to provide visual and auditory cues for members.

















Chapter 13. Future Challenges. Class Reading.

Chapter 14. Culture Within Cultures. Class Reading.

Freeman, G., & Maloney, D. (2021). Body, avatar, and me: The presentation and perception of self in social virtual reality. Proceedings of the ACM on Human-Computer Interaction4(CSCW3), 1-27.

Levine, K. (2007). NPR Cookie Consent and Choices. NPR.

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