Investigating the effects of two virtual reality types on individual self-perception and user experience in adults : realistic humanoid vs fantastical animated avatars

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2023-12

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Avatars, in the virtual world, have transformed our ways of interaction and experience. This study investigated the impact of avatar types in VR technologies on adults’ perception, focusing on realistic humanoid and fantastical animated entities. We explored how embodying these two avatars in a basic virtual room affect participants’ emotions, self-perception, and behaviors while taking into account their tendency to anthropomorphize non-human entities. Participants engaged in movement activities and a tiny human-like game using head-mounted displays (HMD) in a simulated environment. From 14 interviews, we identified trends in avatar type and anthropomorphism’s effects on perception shifts, emotional responses, and behavior changes related to avatar embodiment. Our findings offer valuable insights for future avatar design and research, with potential enhancements in healthcare, education, and collaborative technologies, contributing to a deeper understanding of VR embodiment and user engagement.

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