“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.