A researcher down in Texas has found that, when people are assigned to play characters wearing the brooding black robes of an emo Jedi, or the coneheaded getup of a KKK grand kobold or whatever, they exhibit antisocial behaviors.

The study, entitled "The Priming Effects of Avatars in Virtual Settings," more or less says that people don't have to self-select antisocial depictions of themselves to engage in antisocial behaviors. Just being told to play on the Dark Side in Jedi Knight II, or as a Klanketeer in another setting, encourages them to be a-holes. So you can imagine what that says about a person who creates the skeleton-faced, top-hatted all-black avatar with a tag like xXx_ScAbIEsDeM0n_XxX.


Before you get huffy, the study's author isn't singling out video games or avatars; they just comprise one environment that can also "prime" people to be louts and douchebags. Let me submit another: The 101 from the 87 to Mountain View at 8:25 a.m. on a weekday.

But yeah, as "no shit" findings go, it does sound rather obvious. You can read up on the rest of the study if you like.


What Does Your Video Game Avatar Say About You? [Daily Comet via Destructoid] [Pic via Something Awful]

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