When people embody a virtual or a robotic avatar, their sense of self extends to the body of that avatar. We argue that, as a consequence, if the avatar gets harmed, the person embodied in that avatar suffers the harm in the first person. Potential scenarios involving physical or psychological harm caused to avatars gives rise to legal, moral, and policy implications that need to be considered by policymakers. We maintain that the prevailing distinction in law between “property” and “person” categories compromises the legal protection of the embodied users. We advocate for the inclusion of robotic and virtual avatars in a double category, property–person, as the property and the person mingle in one: the avatar. This hybrid category is critical to protecting users of mediated embodiment experiences both from potential physical or psychological harm and property damage.

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