Avatars influence real world self-perception-- that's the monumental (if tentative) conclusion reached by Stanford's Jeremy Bailenson and Nick Yee (a Stanford grad now at Palo Alto Research Center) I wrote about at length here. Time Magazine expands on their work further-- an essential bulletpoint:
Bailenson has found that even 90 seconds spent chatting it up with avatars is enough to elicit behavioral changes offline — at least in the short term. "When we cloak ourselves in avatars, it subtly alters the manner in which we behave," says Bailenson. "It's about self-perception and self-confidence."
As their work continues spreading through the mainstream media, watch as seismic cultural shifts happen.
Hat tip: Eureka Dejavu, who's notably dazzling in both realities.