This is Dr. Jayne Gackenbach and this week on Video Games: Brain Gain or Drain? we’ll be discussing avatars. What is an avatar? Classically they have been our characters in video games or in virtual worlds like Second Life, but our guest argues that avatars are now our online footprint. Beth Coleman, who received her PhD in comparative literature at New York University, is currently with Harvard and MIT. She is the author of “Hello Avatar” a fascinating examination of the Avatar we have by now all created online. In our conversation Beth explained the three main themes of her book, Hello Avatar. You’ll learn how our experiences online are all about real time, co-presence and x-reality. In her book she talks about how American’s are reporting more loneliness in some survey’s yet also how rich and rewarding their online relationships can be. You’ll also learn in this show how our shopping experiences at the local mall are about to change with the increasing use of augmented reality. Here is my interview with Dr. Beth Coleman.