Social Interaction and User Immersion in VR

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Abstract

A virtual experience is defined as the psychological and emotional state in which users undergo while interacting with products in a 3D environment. It is a relative newcomer to the range of user experience and traditionally, user experience can vary from indirect to direct. This all depends on the depth of possible interactions with the experience. Virtual experiences are similar to indirect experiences in a sense that they are both mediated, however virtual experiences also contain characteristics of direct experiences.

The availability and implementation of virtual reality interfaces has seen a rapid growth in recent years. However, less is known about what aspects of a virtual setting can help create an immersive experience. Despite the emergence of virtual reality, specifically in video games, as entertainment platforms, there have been very few studies that have explored the capabilities for virtual experiences as a whole. Thus, limiting our research data in analyzing social interaction in an immersive virtual environment. These findings, along with other previous research, suggests that social nature is a key component to successfully achieving a full sense of immersion in a virtual setting. Moreover, it is suggested that focusing on the realism of the virtual interactions is potentially more important for heightening a user’s sense of immersion in the world than focusing on the realism of the virtual environment.