How Real Do You See Yourself in VR? The Effect of User-Avatar Resemblance on Virtual Reality Experiences and Behaviour

  • Marnix S. van GisbergenEmail author
  • Ilay Sensagir
  • Joey Relouw
Part of the Progress in IS book series (PROIS)


The aim of this study was to gain better insight into the effects of high and low avatar- owner resemblance on spatial presence, engagement, naturalness and negative effects regarding the user experience in an immersive virtual environment. Participants, between 18 and 32 years old, needed to walk on a 60 m high broken pathway in either a condition in which the shoes in VR matched the shoes they were wearing in reality (high resemblance condition) or not (seeing only generic shoes in a low resemblance condition). The results showed no differences between the conditions, despite that participants within the high avatar- owner resemblance perceived a higher similarity between themselves and their digitally displayed shoes and all liked to customize their shoes in VR. This results indicates that it is not a requirement to develop high avatar-owner resemblance in highly immersive virtual environments in which extreme situations are presented which trigger psychological arousal such as stress.


Virtual reality Resemblance Avatar Personalization Experience 



For the creation of the VR world we would like to thank the students at the game department at Breda University of Applied Sciences and the R&D department Cradle (especially for the artwork and programming of the interactive shoes).


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marnix S. van Gisbergen
    • 1
    Email author
  • Ilay Sensagir
    • 1
  • Joey Relouw
    • 1
  1. 1.Academy for Digital EntertainmentBreda University of Applied SciencesBredaThe Netherlands

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