“Where’s Pinky?”: The Effects of a Reduced Number of Fingers in Virtual Reality

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.

“These are not my hands!”: Effect of Gender on the Perception of Avatar Hands in Virtual Reality

Rendering the user’s body in virtual reality increases immersion and presence – the illusion of ‘being there’. Recent technology enables determining the pose and position of the hands to render them accordingly while interacting within the virtual environment. Virtual reality applications often use realistic male or female hands, mimic robotic hands, or cartoon hands. However, it is unclear how users perceive different hand styles. We conducted a study with 14 male and 14 female participants in virtual reality to investigate the effect of gender on the perception of six different hands.