The hands of one’s avatar are possibly the most visible aspect when interacting in virtual reality (VR). As video games in VR proliferate, it is important to understand how the appearance of avatar hands influence the user experience. Designers of video games often stylize hands and reduce the number of fingers of game characters. Previous work shows that the appearance of avatar hands has significant effects on the user’s presence—the feeling of ‘being’ and ‘acting’ in VR. However, little is known about the effects of missing fingers of an avatar in VR. In this paper, we present a study (N = 24) that investigated the effect of hand representations by parametrically varying the number of fingers of abstract and realistically rendered hands.
We show that decreasing the number of fingers of realistic hands leads to significantly lower levels of presence, which is not the case for abstract hands. Qualitative feedback collected through think-aloud and video revealed potential reasons for the different assessment of realistic and abstract hands with fewer fingers in VR. We contribute design implications and recommend considering the human-likeness when a reduction of the number of fingers of avatar hands is desired.
Read the paper here.
Proceedings of the 2017 CHI Conference on Computer-Human Interaction in Play (CHI PLAY), ACM, Amsterdam, Netherlands, 2017, ISBN: 978-1-4503-4898-0.