Personal Space in Virtual Space

This one seems rather intuitive for anyone who has spent time in Second Life, but an article over on (Link) reports on findings which suggests that people using avatars appear to behave in much the same way in the virtual world as they would in the real world. From that article:

With thousands of people using Second Life at any one time, Nick Yee and colleagues at Stanford University realised it presented a chance to assess whether users interacted in similar ways to people in the real world.

After using a computer program to monitor the behaviour of over 1,600 avatars in one-on-one interactions, they conclude that the answer is ‘yes’. Male avatars (whether created by a man or a woman) stood further apart than female avatars, for instance, and were more likely to avert their gaze. And when an avatar gets within a few metres of another, the user reduces eye contact by moving their character to face slightly to the right or the left of the other ‘person’.

I guess the social scientists are all giddy over this news. I just got this to say to all the researchers out there: Anyone a youse touches my stuff… I’ll kill ya. Anyone a youse touches me… I’ll kill ya.

via VRoot