The Effect of Realistic Appearance of Virtual Characters in Immersive Environments - Does the Character's Personality Play a Role?
IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics
Fig. 1 . Screenshots of the virtual environment and realistic character used in our experiment. Abstract- Virtual characters that appear almost photo-realistic have been shown to induce negative responses from viewers in traditional media, such as film and video games. This effect, described as the uncanny valley, is the reason why realism is often avoided when the aim is to create an appealing virtual character. In Virtual Reality, there have been few attempts to investigate this phenomenon
... the implications of rendering virtual characters with high levels of realism on user enjoyment. In this paper, we conducted a large-scale experiment on over one thousand members of the public in order to gather information on how virtual characters are perceived in interactive virtual reality games. We were particularly interested in whether different render styles (realistic, cartoon, etc.) would directly influence appeal, or if a character's personality was the most important indicator of appeal. We used a number of perceptual metrics such as subjective ratings, proximity, and attribution bias in order to test our hypothesis. Our main result shows that affinity towards virtual characters is a complex interaction between the character's appearance and personality, and that realism is in fact a positive choice for virtual characters in virtual reality.