Is there an Uncanny Valley of Virtual Animals? A Quantitative and Qualitative Investigation

Approaching a high degree of realism, android robots, and virtual humans may evoke uncomfortable feelings. Due to technologies that increase the realism of human replicas, this phenomenon, which is known as the uncanny valley, has been frequently highlighted in recent years by researchers from various fields. Although virtual animals play an important role in video games and entertainment, the question whether there is also an uncanny valley for virtual animals has been little investigated. This paper examines whether very realistic virtual pets tend to cause a similar aversion as humanlike characters.