Avatars in adolescent chat spacesPresentation Transcript
Avatars in Adolescent Chat Spaces Lois Ann Scheidt School of Library and Information Science Indiana University
Avatars – What are they?
Research Questions What types of avatars do adolescents use in graphical chat spaces? How is gender represented in these avatars?
Methodology – General Chat Room The chat site chosen consists of 180+ chatrooms. 24 chatrooms designated for General Chat and populated by adolescents. Each room had a capacity of 30 participants. The total General Chat participation regularly exceeds 200 participants.
Methodology – Chatroom Selection Five General Chatrooms were selected for this study based on: The consistent use of avatars. Regularity of five or more participants around the clock.
Methodology – Data Collection The day was divided into 4 time blocks. Data was collected in 1 hour increments. 2 hours of data was collected in each time block. Individual avatars were collected and saved for analysis.
Methodology - Analysis Content Analysis. Coding scheme was developed during an earlier pilot study.
Methodology – Avatar Coding Scheme Two sets of forced choice (exclusive) selections were made to: Humanoid/other pictured in the avatar: Humanoid - female, male, female(s) and male(s), and unknown gender, or Other - non-human, and graphical.
Methodology – Avatar Coding Scheme Advertising Angels, pixies, etc Animated Avatar is drawing Avatar is photo Baggy clothing Celebrities, musicians, actors, etc Combination construction Compound construction
Methodology – Avatar Coding Scheme Coy gaze Drug, smoking, alcohol Exaggerated secondary sexual characteristics Eyes obscured Figures in action Gore and/or blood Guns, swords, spears, armor, etc Humanoid group (3 or more) Membership or group tags