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Beyond my Real Body: Characterization, Impacts, Applications and Perspectives of “Dissimilar” Avatars in Virtual Reality

  • Cheymol, Antonin
  • Fribourg, Rebecca
  • Lécuyer, Anatole
  • Normand, Jean-Marie
  • Argelaguet, Ferran
Publication Date
Oct 16, 2023
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In virtual reality, the avatar-the user's digital representation-is an important element which can drastically influence the immersive experience. In this paper, we especially focus on the use of "dissimilar" avatars i.e., avatars diverging from the real appearance of the user, whether they preserve an anthropomorphic aspect or not. Previous studies reported that dissimilar avatars can positively impact the user experience, in terms for example of interaction, perception or behaviour. However, given the sparsity and multidisciplinary character of research related to dissimilar avatars, it tends to lack common understanding and methodology, hampering the establishment of novel knowledge on this topic. In this paper, we propose to address these limitations by discussing: (i) a methodology for dissimilar avatars characterization, (ii) their impacts on the user experience, (iii) their different fields of application, and finally, (iv) future research direction on this topic. Taken together, we believe that this paper can support future research related to dissimilar avatars, and help designers of VR applications to leverage dissimilar avatars appropriately.

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