Digest: Avatars
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This year, the cult film "Avatar" by James Cameron turns 12 years old. At one time, it became a breakthrough for the film industry: It collected a record $2.7 billion, received three Oscars and approved the fashion for 3D in Hollywood.

What is the phenomenon of this movie? In addition to a good plot and amazing graphics for 2009, "Avatar" is a dream about another world and even another body. Who among us would not like to be someone else for a while?

In the online era, this opportunity is there. Users can choose a personality and represent themselves through digital avatars: from a character in an online game to a picture in a social network profile or a forum. They can communicate productively with a chatbot whose image resembles a person or a friendly assistant. Or they can create an avatar that looks as much like themselves as possible, as in The Sims game — and watch their "own" life from the outside.

We have dedicated this digest to the phenomenon of such a human-avatar interaction. Can an avatar change the user's behavior? Why do boys like to play as "female" characters so much? How and why do they play "avatar" games? Should the avatar be realistic? And how is it used in various spheres of life?

Inside this digest there are answers to these and other questions, links to full reports on our research and complex things in simple language. As always. Don't miss it!