It was with respect to movement that the male gamers with female avatars ultimately gave themselves away: they moved backwards more often and stayed further away from the group than women playing with female avatars."Movement is less conscious than chat, so it can be an easier 'tell' for offline gender," says Consalvo, who also holds a Canada Research Chair in Game Studies and Design.Antlers One blogger writing about his experience in Second Life describes the range of male genitalia on offer to buy, including skin colour control, sound, animations, ejaculation, urine and some that are touchable by other players to lead to arousal.He visited virtual sex shops and sex clubs where he saw people having sex in a number of different ways. Sex has become a big thing [in Second Life] but I suspect it's full of teenagers, so that's no shock." Some Second Lifers have been known to misbehave - a US journalist was attacked by flying penises when conducting an interview in his virtual office."We looked at things like language use and online movement to see if, among those who played a character of the opposite gender, a player's real-life gender would be revealed." The researchers found that male gamers with female avatars used more emotional phrases and employed smile emoticons more often than those with male avatars.They were also more likely to choose an attractive avatar.
It's a player-generated economy and people exchange things they have created - someone builds it, someone buys it and someone puts it into action." For people participating in this, he adds, the sexual chat is more important than the avatar having sex, which acts more like a prop to get their imagination going. As crude, pixelated representations of humans, avatars can't flex individual muscles, says Gabby Kent, a lecturer in computer games at the University of Teesside."You can touch and jiggle about a bit and you can emote and gesture in a way the other person would see.