By Jessica Griggs HOW is a female avatar supposed to get a fair treatment in the virtual world? They should rely on human females – men can’t help but be swayed by looks. Thanks to video games and blockbuster movies, people are increasingly engaging with avatars and robots. So Karl MacDorman of Indiana University in Indianapolis, Indiana, decided to find out how people treated avatars when faced with an ethical dilemma. Does an avatar’s lack of humanity mean people fail to empathise with them?