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Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality and Avatars were the topics of the latest CORE session

Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality and Avatars were the topics of the latest CORE session

The session included presentations by Dr. Jakki Bailey (University of Texas), Dr. Andrea Stevenson Won (Cornell University) and Dr. Tania Aitamurto (University of Illinois)

01.06.2021

 

Last Thursday, May 27, CORE held a special session entitled “The frontiers of knowledge in Communication Studies”, focused on how virtual reality, augmented reality, avatars, and other emerging technologies are studied through the lens of Communication Studies and Media Psychology perspectives.

The session began with Dr. Jakki Bailey, from the University of Texas, who presented the talk “Children’s cognitive and social response to VR characters”, in which she discussed recent findings examining children’s usage of VR and their interaction with virtual characters. Through the use of different types of characters, Bailey studied reactions regarding children’s inhibitory control, their social engagement, approach and boundaries, and their enjoyment, emotional distress or physical distress after the VR experience.

Following Dr. Bailey, Dr. Andrea Stevenson Won, from Cornell University, gave the lecture “How the avatar moves the user: Self-Avatar embodiment and user behavior in immersive virtual reality”, centered on avatar embodiment and its effects on users’ behaviors. While asking the users to interact through an anthropomorphic avatar and a more abstract one, Stevenson Won analyzed how participants did or did not control their avatar’s movements and the repercussions these different kinds of embodiments had on their interactions and non-verbal gesturing.

Finally, Dr. Tanja Aitamurto, from the University of Illinois, presented “Examining augmented reality in journalism: presence, knowledge gain, and perceived visual authenticity”, which discussed the role of immersive experiences of augmented reality on users’ sense of physical presence and perceptions of authenticity. The experiment focused on three The New York Times articles on a mobile phone, which were viewed in AR visualization mode, an interactive (non-AR) mode and a static, non-interactive visualization, pointing to AR’s greater sense of physical presence and engagement of the audience.

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