Frank Waddell, who is beginning doctoral study at the College of Communications at Penn State University in the coming term, represented the Virginia Tech Gaming and Media Effects Research Laboratory one final time by presenting a paper based on his M.A. thesis research Friday, August 10, at the annual conference of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC).  Waddell's paper, titled "It’s Not Easy Trying to Be One of the Guys: The Effects of Avatar Attractiveness, Avatar Gender, and Purported User Gender on the Success of Help-Seeking Requests in an Online Game," was co-authored with lab director James D. Ivory.  In the study, nearly 2,000 users of the online game "World of Warcraft" were approached with a request for help, with the requester's purported gender, avatar attractiveness, and avatar gender.  The study found that while users were more likely to help another user who purported to be female, responses to a request for help depended on avatar attractiveness more when the user requesting help was purportedly female than when the user requesting help was purportedly male or did not report a gender when making the request.