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The Impact of a Character Posture Model on the Communication of Affect in an Immersive Virtual Environment

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3 Author(s)
Vinayagamoorthy, V. ; British Broadcasting Corp., Kingswood Warren ; Steed, A. ; Slater, M.

This paper presents the quantitative and qualitative findings from an experiment designed to evaluate a developing model of affective postures for full-body virtual characters in immersive virtual environments (IVEs). Forty-nine participants were each requested to explore a virtual environment by asking two virtual characters for instructions. The participants used a CAVE-like system to explore the environment. Participant responses and their impression of the virtual characters were evaluated through a wide variety of both quantitative and qualitative methods. Combining a controlled experimental approach with various data-collection methods provided a number of advantages such as providing a reason to the quantitative results. The quantitative results indicate that posture plays an important role in the communication of affect by virtual characters. The qualitative findings indicated that participants attribute a variety of psychological states to the behavioral cues displayed by virtual characters. In addition, participants tended to interpret the social context portrayed by the virtual characters in a holistic manner. This suggests that one aspect of the virtual scene colors the perception of the whole social context portrayed by the virtual characters. We conclude by discussing the importance of designing holistically congruent virtual characters especially in immersive settings.

Published in:

Visualization and Computer Graphics, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:14 ,  Issue: 5 )