Do you look like your avatar?

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Are you good at drawing pictures? graph of japanese statisticsWith more and more web sites supporting the use of icons to represent users (including this site and the Gravaters) in the comments, there is perhaps more opportunities to display an avatar, the subject of this survey from iShare.

Demographics

Between the 21st and 25th of December 2009 505 members of the CLUB BBQ free email forwarding service completed a private internet-based questionnaire. 56.2% of the sample were male, 38.8% in their twenties, 27.9% in their thirties, and 33.3% in their forties.

I’d have liked to have seen a question on whether people prefer to use an avatar that looks like them or just an actual photo. Looking at my Google Friend Connect (see the bottom of the right sidebar) set of icons, I see the vast majority are actual photos and there might be just one that is a look-alike image (), but since Japanese on the whole feel resistance to revealing names, one cannot make assumptions about Japanese avatar usage based on my primarily western set.

I’ve seen adverts somewhere for generating an avatar based on a photograph you send them, but I’ve not looked into the price.

Research results

Q1: Are you good at drawing pictures? (Sample size=505)

  All Male
N=284
Female
N=221
Excellent 6.3% 2.8% 10.9%
Pretty good 25.3% 16.2% 37.1%
Pretty bad 25.5% 26.8% 24.0%
Terrible 42.8% 54.2% 28.1%

Q2: Have you ever used a face generator to create an avatar, illustration, etc? (Sample size=505)

  All Male
N=284
Female
N=221
Yes (to SQ1) 34.1% 26.1% 44.3%
No 65.9% 73.9% 55.7%


Q2SQ1: Have you ever used that avatar, illustration, etc you created in a game, on a blog, etc? (Sample size=172)

  All Male
N=74
Female
N=98
Yes 54.7% 51.4% 57.1%
No 45.3% 48.6% 42.9%

Q2SQ2: Have you ever created an avatar, illustration, etc that looks like you? (Sample size=172)

  All Male
N=74
Female
N=98
Yes (to SQ3) 64.5% 63.5% 65.3%
No 35.5% 36.5% 34.7%


Q2SQ3: Have you ever shown an avatar, illustration, etc that looks like you to someone who knows your face? (Sample size=111)

  All Male
N=47
Female
N=64
Yes (to SQ4) 61.3% 57.4% 64.1%
No 38.7% 42.6% 35.9%


Q2SQ4: Did the person you show it to say it looked like you? (Sample size=68)

  All Male
N=27
Female
N=41
Yes 67.6% 66.7% 68.3%
No 32.4% 33.3% 31.7%

Q3: If someone offered a service to create an avatar, illustration, etc that was the spitting image of you, would you like to get one made for you? (Sample size=505)

  All Male
N=284
Female
N=221
Really want to 5.5% 4.9% 6.3%
Would want to if I had the opportunity 33.7% 34.9% 32.1%
Don’t want to 60.8% 60.2% 61.5%

Interestingly, those who said they were good at art were more keen to get an avatar made.

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