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Buxom girls and boys in baseball hats: Adolescent avatars in graphical chat spaces

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Buxom girls and boys in baseball hats: Adolescent avatars in graphical chat spaces

  1. 1. Buxom Girls and Boys in Baseball Hats: Adolescent Avatars in Graphical Chat Spaces <br />Lois Ann Scheidt<br />School of Library and Information Science<br />Indiana University<br />
  2. 2. Avatars – What are they?<br />
  3. 3. Research Questions<br />What types of avatars do adolescents use in graphical chat spaces?<br />How is gender represented in these avatars?<br />
  4. 4. Methodology – General Chat Room<br />The chat site chosen consists of 180+ chatrooms.<br />24 chatrooms designated for General Chat and populated by adolescents.<br />Each room had a capacity of 30 participants.<br />The total General Chat participation regularly exceeds 200 participants. <br />
  5. 5. Methodology – Chatroom Selection<br />Five General Chatrooms were selected for this study based on:<br />The consistent use of avatars.<br />Regularity of five or more participants around the clock.<br />
  6. 6. Methodology – Data Collection<br />The day was divided into 4 time blocks.<br />Data was collected in 1 hour increments.<br />2 hours of data was collected in each time block.<br />Individual avatars were collected and saved for analysis.<br />Moderators were removed from the analysis as they must be 21.<br />
  7. 7. Methodology - Analysis<br />Content Analysis.<br />Coding scheme was developed during an earlier pilot study.<br />
  8. 8. Methodology – Avatar Coding Scheme<br />Two sets of forced choice selections were made. <br />Humanoid/other pictured in the avatar:<br />Humanoid - female, male, female(s) and male(s), and unknown gender, or<br />Other - non-human, and graphical.<br />
  9. 9. Methodology – Avatar Coding Scheme<br />Advertising <br />Angels, pixies, etc<br />Animated<br />Avatar is drawing<br />Avatar is photo<br />Baggy clothing<br />Celebrities, musicians, actors, etc<br />Combination construction<br />Compound construction<br />
  10. 10. Methodology – Avatar Coding Scheme<br />Coy gaze<br />Drug, smoking, alcohol<br />Exaggerated secondary sexual characteristics<br />Eyes obscured<br />Figures in action<br />Gore and/or blood<br />Guns, swords, spears, armor, etc<br />Humanoid group (3 or more)<br />Membership or group tags<br />
  11. 11. Methodology – Avatar Coding Scheme<br />Nickname superimposed on avatar<br />Nudity<br />Pornographic<br />Race – Asian, Black, Hispanic, White, Unknown<br />Revealing Dress<br />Sexually suggestive<br />Superheroes, vampires, supernatural figures<br />Trappings of childhood<br />
  12. 12. Findings - General<br />1296 unique nicknames.<br />28.2% (n=365) of the nicknames used avatars.<br />312 unique avatars were collected.<br />
  13. 13. Findings – Humanoid Avatar Categories<br />92.3% (n=288) Humanoid<br />46.2% (n=144) Female<br />32.1% (n=100) Males<br />2.6% (n=8) Female(s) and Male(s)<br />11.5% (n=36) Unknown Gender<br />
  14. 14. Findings – Other Avatar Categories<br />7.7% (n=27) Other<br />1.6% (n=5) Non-Human<br />6.1% (n=19) Graphical<br />
  15. 15. Findings – Race of Avatar<br />
  16. 16. Findings – Drawing or Photo<br />
  17. 17. Findings – Female Avatars<br />Coy gaze.<br />75.0% (n=108).<br />
  18. 18. Findings – Female Avatars<br />Nudity & revealing clothing.<br />50.0% (n=72).<br />
  19. 19. Findings – Female Avatars<br />Exaggerated secondary sexual characteristics.<br />36.8% (n=53).<br />
  20. 20. Findings – Female Avatars<br />Combination/compound avatars or avatars with nicknames superimposed on a photo or drawing. <br />31.3% (n=45).<br />
  21. 21. Findings – Male Avatars<br />Figures in action & superheroes, vampires, supernatural figures & animated.<br />40.0% (n=40).<br />
  22. 22. Findings – Male Avatars<br />Baggy clothing.<br />35.0% (n=35).<br />
  23. 23. Findings – Male Avatars<br />Guns, swords, spears, armor, etc & gore & drug, smoking, alcohol.<br />38.0% (n=38).<br />
  24. 24. Findings – Male Avatars<br />Eyes obscured.<br />33.0% (n=33).<br />
  25. 25. Findings – Male Avatars<br />Combination/compound avatars or avatars with nicknames superimposed on a photo or drawing.<br />32.0% (n=32).<br />
  26. 26. Findings – Both Female(s) and Male(s) Avatars<br />Combination/compound avatars or avatars with nicknames superimposed on a photo or drawing.<br />75.0%% (n=6).<br />
  27. 27. Findings – Both Female(s) and Male(s) Avatars<br />Nudity & revealing clothing.<br />50.0%% (n=4).<br />
  28. 28. Findings – Both Female(s) and Male(s) Avatars<br />Baggy clothing.<br />Coy gaze.<br />Eyes obscured.<br />37.5% (n=3).<br />
  29. 29. Findings – Unknown Gender<br />Combination/compound avatars or avatars with nicknames superimposed on a photo or drawing.<br />33.3% (n=12).<br />
  30. 30. Findings – Unknown Gender<br />Baggy clothing.<br />30.6% (n=11).<br />
  31. 31. Findings – Non-Human<br />Combination/compound avatars or avatars with nicknames superimposed on a photo or drawing.<br />60.0% (n=6).<br />
  32. 32. Findings – Non-Human<br />Figures in action & superheroes, vampires, supernatural figures & animated. <br />60.0% (n=6).<br />
  33. 33. Findings – Graphical<br />Combination/compound avatars or avatars with nicknames superimposed on a photo or drawing.<br />47.4% (n=9).<br />
  34. 34. Interpretation - Ritualized subordination<br />Females adopting postures which indicate submission to control by others. <br />Seductive glances.<br />Sexually suggestive. <br />Revealing clothing.<br />Idealized bodies (Exaggerated Secondary Sexual Characteristics).<br />
  35. 35. Interpretation – Psychological Withdrawal<br />Attention drifts away. Distancing/ obscuring of self.<br />Eyes Obscured.<br />Baggy Clothing.<br />
  36. 36. Interpretation – Markers of Masculinity<br />Influence of gaming/fantasy culture.<br />Figures in action.<br />Supernatural figures.<br />Implements of destruction.<br />
  37. 37. Interpretation – The Masculinity of Anonymity<br />Unknown gender and non-human mirror male categories<br />Baggy clothing<br />supernatural figures<br />
  38. 38. Future Research <br />Avatar use and communicative events<br />

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