Avatar customization is available in many games, but as yet there is no analytical framework capable of enabling systematic comparison between games. To investigate this issue, we present our novel analytical framework, referred to as the Avatar Affordances Framework. To model the framework, we analyze the character creation interfaces of 20 games. We focus in particular on the different ways gender and ethnicity are presented to players. Preliminary analysis reveals that many popular games have socially exclusive values, and that high fidelity character creation interfaces are no exception. The framework itself offers a more comprehensive tool than previous (e.g., count-based) approaches to investigating self-representation issues in character creation interfaces.

Avatar Affordances Framework, Character Creation Interfaces, Gender: Ethnicity, Interface Analysis, Self-Representation
2nd ACM SIGCHI Annual Symposium on Computer-Human Interaction in Play, CHI PLAY 2015
School of Information Technology

McArthur, V, Teather, R, & Jenson, J. (Jennifer). (2015). The avatar affordances framework: Mapping affordances and design trends in character creation interfaces. In CHI PLAY 2015 - Proceedings of the 2015 Annual Symposium on Computer-Human Interaction in Play (pp. 231–240). doi:10.1145/2793107.2793121