Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Men seek help using female avatars

As the use of GPS technology in cars and mobile devices becomes routine, the age-old cliché that men never stop to ask for directions could soon become forgotten.
It is, however, widely accepted by psychologists that men are more reluctant to seek help for their problems than women due to social expectations that men should be strong, stoical and self-sufficient. This means that, despite the fact that men, on average, suffer more ill health and an earlier death, women use medical and counselling professionals more. But as people increasingly come to depend on online support for practical, educational, emotional and medical issues, an LSE researcher has discovered a new way to encourage men to overcome their inhibitions.
Through studying the use of avatars in a multiplayer online game, researchers found that men who use female avatars in online games appeared more ready to ask for help during the game. Working with colleagues from the University of Tokyo, Vili Lehdonvirta, analysed the behaviour of avatars from Uncharted Waters Online (UWO), a Japanese game launched in 2005 by Tecmo Koei Games.femaleavatar
It had already been established in a previous study that 57 per cent of participants in a virtual environment had used an avatar of the opposite gender. The primary reason for gender-switching is the desire to play a different role from oneself. Female participants said they also used male avatars to circumvent prejudices towards women in male-dominated environments and to avoid unwanted courting behaviour. Male participants said they also used female avatars to enjoy benefits such as attention and gifts lavished by other males and to enjoy controlling and looking at a virtual female body without necessarily having any conscious intention to play a feminine role.
UWO was chosen for the study because it features gendered avatars, rich interaction, and occasions when there is clear need for help. It involves participants assuming the role of merchants, explorers and privateers in a 17th century world where sailing is the main means of transport. According to a survey of nearly 6000 participants conducted by Tecmo Koei Games in 2006, 87 per cent of the game’s participants are male and 13 per cent female. All age groups are represented, but 44 per cent are in their 20s and 47 per cent in their 30s.
Researchers analysed a large sample of typed conversations, consisting of over 270,000 lines of text to identify and code instances of helping behaviour.
The results showed that avatar gender is a significant predictor of help-seeking behaviour, independently from the physical sex of the user, confirming that men’s inhibitions are related to social expectations rather than a biological cause.
Dr Lehdonvirta, a Visiting Fellow at LSE’s Asia Research Centre and an Associate Director of LSE’s Innovation Co-Creation Lab, concludes: “As help-seeking moves online, including telemedicine for those in remote locations, professional helpers to whom identity has so far been a simple matter of legal and physical identity will increasingly have to deal with people’s online projections of themselves.
“The most obvious implication from the study is that e-helpers should take seriously any gender guises that help-seekers adopt in their online interactions.
“The results of this study suggest that the use of avatar-mediated communication should be explored further as a means to improve clinical outcomes by temporarily setting men free from the male gender role and thus allowing them to pursue help for their problems in earnest.”
Lehdonvirta’s book on virtual online economies is due to be published in summer 2013 by MIT Press.

Friday, July 13, 2012

People are often unreasonable, illogical, and self-centered;
Forgive them anyway.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives;
Be kind anyway.

If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies;
Succeed anyway.

If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you;
Be honest anyway.

What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight;
Build anyway.

If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous;
Be happy anyway.

The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow;
Do good anyway.

Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough;
Give the best you've got anyway.

You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and God..
It was never between you and them anyway.

- Mother Theresa

Friday, October 7, 2011

A tribute to Steve Jobs

“No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don't want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life's change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” – Steve Jobs

Saturday, January 22, 2011

University of the People – The world’s first tuition-free online university

University of the People – The world’s first tuition-free online university

From wiki:
"University of the People" (UoPeople) is a tuition free, non-profit, online academic institution headquartered in Pasadena, California, founded by entrepreneur Shai Reshef.
The organization is devoted to providing universal access to equality, online post-secondary education to qualified students, despite geographic or financial limitations.
UoPeople’s pedagogical model draws on the principles of e-learning and social networking, coupled with open-source technology and open educational resources.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Steve Jobs' 2005 Stanford Commencement Address

Excerpts from the speech on "Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish"
"...When I was young, there was an amazing publication called The Whole Earth Catalog, which was one of the bibles of my generation...It was sort of like Google in paperback form, 35 years before Google came along: it was idealistic, and overflowing with neat tools and great notions...publisher Stewart Brand and his team put out several issues of The Whole Earth Catalog, and then when it had run its course, they put out a final issue. It was the mid-1970s, and I was your age. On the back cover of their final issue was a photograph of an early morning country road, the kind you might find yourself hitchhiking on if you were so adventurous. Beneath it were the words: "Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish." It was their farewell message as they signed off...And I have always wished that for myself. And now, as you graduate to begin a new, I wish that for you. Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish."

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Status message of the week (2nd week of May 2010)

Many highly intelligent people are poor thinkers. Many people of average intelligence are skilled thinkers. The power of a car is separate from the way the car is driven.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Status message of the week ( 4th week of April 2010)

Creativity is a great motivator because it makes people interested in what they are doing. Creativity gives hope that there can be a worthwhile idea. Creativity gives the possibility of some sort of achievement to everyone. Creativity makes life more fun and more interesting.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Status message of the week ( 2nd week of April 2010)

पलकों से जो पकड़ूं मोती, नैना दे बिखराए । नैनों में जो बात छुपाऊं, पलकों से बह जाए ।।

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Status message of the week ( 1st week of April 2010)

Each moment one has to be at ease with oneself - not trying to improve, not cultivating anything, not practicing anything.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Status message of the week ( 4th week of March 2010)

"Doubt helps your intelligence, sharpens it. Questioning makes you aware of many possibilities of which you may not have been aware before."