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    Effects of gesture-based avatar-mediated communication on brainstorming and negotiation tasks among younger users

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    This paper reports on a study which investigated the effects of gesture-based avatar-mediated communication on younger users (12–13 years old), in comparison to video-mediated communication. Specifically, we looked at how these technologies were used by school pupils to brainstorm and negotiate ideas in a bullying context. 64 school pupils were divided into two conditions (Skype and AvatarKinect) and were instructed to carry out two tasks (a brainstorming and a negotiation task). Objective task performance, perceived satisfaction and perceived partner’s characteristics were compared. We found no difference in term of perceived satisfaction. AvatarKinect users reported more positive changes in perceptions toward their partner. The results on task performance were ambivalent; Skype users seemed to generate more ideas, whilst AvatarKinect produced better quality ideas. In summary, gesture-based avatar technology appears to be a useful modality to help resolve bullying in schools