Study of Human Avatars Communication Mechanics in Virtual Reality

Sneha Vikram · Jul 11, 2023 · 4 mins read

An Avatar is a graphical representation of a user in the virtual world. In the physical world, we communicate with the help of words and gestures. But in the virtual world, Avatars do the job for us. Life-like Avatars are being developed and infused with applications we use daily such as Snapchat and Instagram.

"Bitmoji" from Snapchat records a user's facial features, from skin tone down to the texture of their hair. After processing the user's details, the parts of the Bitmoji Avatar can be altered to the user's likes. These personalized emojis can convey our replies and reactions to a text or snap. This has revolutionized communication on a more personal level and has embodied the users on an artificial platform.

People who have met in real life judge others based on the several outward projections of the individual's personality. How does this essential social interaction happen over the internet, and how do avatars help personalize the virtual meet-up more in a transition state.

Anthropomorphism refers to the process of assigning human characteristics to an animal or object. When this was done as an experiment and people were made to interact with anthropomorphic Avatars among human Avatars, both of which possessed greeting messages, the factor that led people to choose one Avatar to interact with over the other was based on those greeting messages.

Now, you might wonder what these greeting messages had in them. Drumroll, please! Some of these messages had profanities in them. This can lead us here: We interact based on the vibe given out, be it in physical or virtual form like Avatars. The fact that these Avatars could be just animals with features like humans, which we all know is less appealing, doesn't even matter. Surprising, isn't it?

Not only do the features of the Avatars directly affect communication but their clothes and accessories also influence it. Based upon conventions and environment, attires and accessories differ, and we initiate conversations and establish relationships by interpreting the ambiance around a person. According to research, dressing style and fashion sense play a big role in Avatar communication. It has also been concluded that "agreeable and normative" Avatars are engaged more, which means that these virtual representations can directly have a social consequence.

Avatar-self merging is a phenomenon where a person feels themselves merging with their Avatar. So, not only do we have to care about our physical self's representation in the real world, but also our Avatar's presence in the virtual world. But this experience could elevate the efficiency of work done in the virtual world. Let’s consider a scenario where you’re assigned a task in the Virtual world, you’ve got to complete it efficiently because you would be experiencing entitlement over it because of Avatar-self merging.

Strangers on a virtual platform approach each other based on various factors, just like in the real world. Communication will always be significant to connect, and there must be no hindrances to establishing trust between two parties. When a person is attending an interview, they need to prove that they are the right person and, therefore, a perfect fit for the job.

For example, an interview in a virtual setting where the interviewer and candidate meet via Horizon as their Avatars. The candidate must prove their integrity and make themselves sound capable and worthy of the position. The features of their Avatar and the social cues implied through their Avatar's non-verbal communication will directly influence their ability to prove themselves.

This same concept could be applied to forming friendships between two parties through a virtual platform. Avatars take communication to a whole new level; consequentially, the challenges in communication are also taken to another level.

All these studies lead us to one point – two parties in a virtual platform form friendships based on their Avatars. This Avatar becomes a part of us which ultimately causes numerous challenges in communication as a consequence.

Technology is here and is changing by the minute. We will be required to embrace the technology and to empower ourselves as a Digital Native in Virtual platforms to successfully interact in work environments and social situations. This could be your cue to take up our Master Certification in VR/AR to create and master using your Avatars and much more.

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Virtual Reality