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On May 28, Chancellor Gary S. May wrote:

“The events of this week also cause me to believe even more strongly, if that’s possible, in building an inclusive environment that recognizes and respects people of all backgrounds and experiences. I remain committed to that and hope you will do what you can to eliminate racism, sexism, and other negative influences on our progression as a nation.”

We join Chancellor May in these efforts toward building diverse, inclusive, and equitable environment in the Department of Communication and at the University of California Davis. To learn more, including a list of resources are available for students in crisis, need of support, or who have experienced racism or bias, click here.

Important Covid-19 Information:

In light of the Covid-19 situation,  all UC Davis Spring 2020 course will move to virtual instruction.  As a result, the department’s administrative functions have moved to remote work conditions until further notice.  At this time, the preferred method of contact for departmental staff members is e-mail; please visit our administrative staff contact page for further information.

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Study replicates avatar effects on gamers' physical activity in the real world

Does your avatar's size effect your physical activity?

In a recent study published in Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, Professor Jorge Peña and graduate students Subuhi Khan and Cassandra Alexopoulos show that men assigned to an obese avatar in a tennis video game showed decreased physical activity in the real world compared with those assigned to a thin avatar. This occurred regardless of the player’s actual body size.

Participants also showed social comparison effects including decreased physical activity when their avatar was perceived as more obese than the opponent character. Overall, this implies that exergames can be leveraged to increase physical activity among gamers.

This replicates a previous study by Dr. Peña showing a similar effect among women. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication is ranked 2/76 in communication and has a five-year impact factor of 3.799.