Designing for the Hybrid Body: Presence, Representation, and Self in Virtual Reality

2018-10-08T15:18:00Z (GMT) by Camille Baumann-jaeger
The notion of embodiment in virtual reality as a culmination between the sense of self-location, sense of agency, and a sense of body ownership is key to understand as an underlying structure framing the user's experience and understanding within a virtual environment. In this research, rapid qualitative research methods are first used to contextualize and create a base of understanding for issues surrounding online disinhibition in online multi-player virtual realty games. This thesis explores inter-player interactions in the two games QuiVR, a competitive virtual reality archery game, and VRChat, a multiplayer, virtual reality game with a focus on social interactions and user-created content, and analyzes the relationship between observed instances of toxic online disinhibition and developer design decisions. Both sets of qualitative findings then form a precedent for design experiments, which look to ways in which abstracted representations and alternative or augmented movement mapping can affect user experience. Together, this research bridges the gap between the potential for embodiment in virtual reality and how it affects the potential for bodily experiences by players of toxic online disinhibition. <br>