To win video games, make an avatar that looks exactly like you


This advice is obviously not about Sims, but about sports or fighting games.

Tired of getting last in video games to finish? So science will give you a little boost: choose an avatar that looks like you, not an idealized character with disproportionate muscles. This new study from the University of Bath in the UK made the astonishing discovery that a player’s performance was much better when his avatar looked more like him than a random or idealized avatar, reveals an article Science and the future.

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To arrive at these results, the scientists analyzed the behavior of participants in a road bike game. Equipped with virtual reality headsets, participants had to compete against three types of avatars: one realistic, one idealized, and one random. In any case, the performance with realistic avatars was better. The participants “found the game more motivating”Depending on Tech Xplore. “The game pushed participants to their limits for 30 seconds to see how much they can train over a short period of time. When they competed against their realistic avatar, they were 3% faster than when they competed with their idealized avatar – in other words, they exercised 3% more.”, the study reports.

A similarity that pushes you to outdo yourself

“Idealized avatars increase desire identification, but seem to have a negative impact on physical performance”explains Dr. Christof Lutteroth, who led the research at the University’s Institute of Computer Science. On the contrary, an avatar that resembles us would unconsciously push us to surpass ourselves.

According to Dr. Lutteroth, a possible explanation for the positive effect of the realistic avatar would be a mechanism known as feedforward. Our motivation and performance would improve if we with an avatar that resembles us, to which we can easily identify. A random or idealized avatar can reduce the feedforward effect by reducing self-identification, explains Tech Xplore.