Excerpt from “Exploring the world of online gaming and avatar-related wellbeing”

Online gaming has increased in popularity over the past decade but research into the impacts of gaming is still in the early stages. Our knowledge of the effects – both positive and negative – and the factors that contribute to the potential outcomes are still emerging. In this context, the figure used to represent the gamer in the online video-game world, commonly known as the avatar, has attracted significant attention. Avatar-customisation options that enable the user to selectively portray himself/ herself in the virtual world have been suggested to invite a significant psychological attachment. Interestingly, the bond developed between the user offline and the avatar online has been implicated with excessive gaming risk as well as the effectiveness of online therapeutic applications.

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