Augmentalists vs Immersionalists. Which one are you?

The SL Reuters website has picked up on a recent research project initiated by the US Congressional Internet Caucus Advisory Committee. The research, conducted by Zogby International asked 3,585 adults questions relating to attitudes towards technology.

The particular question understandably focussed on by Reuters was:

‘Some people are now participating in virtual worlds such as Second Life. Lets say youre creating a virtual you in a virtual world. Would you dramatically alter the avatars physical appearance from your own?’

So, what we’re getting here is the way people choose to express themselves via their avatars. In the red corner we have ‘Augmentalists’ – people who view their avatar as an extension of their real world persona. In the blue corner are the ‘Immersionalists’ – those who view their virtual world presence as mutually exclusive from the real world. Augmentalists typically choose to customise their avatar to closely resemble their real world apperance, whereas Immersionalists do not. More insight into these two types here.

So, the findings….

A majority of 44.2% of the research participants opted for ‘Keep me just about the same as I am’, whilst the opposite, ‘I would dramatically alter my physical appearance’ represented 14.7%.

Bearing in mind one has to assume only a small % of the sample (of 3,585) probably use virtual worlds, does this research shed some light into the Augmentalists vs Immersionalists concept? I think so. Spend a reasonable amount of time in SL and you soon realise most people look pretty normal, despite what some of the media say. Following this logic forward, if the majority of people look normal, than you have to assume they look normal in real life (just like most of us), and who would immersionalise themselves to look like the norm?

Nice one Eric.