Avatar Types Matter: Review of Avatar Literature for Performance Purposes
The use of avatars as learning agents is becoming increasingly popular in the sports, education and military domains due to the rapid advancement in distributive technologies (e.g., internet, virtual worlds, etc.). When it comes to military and sports, Simulation-Based Training has proven to be cost-effective, due largely to restrictions on time, costs and safety . As virtual reality and virtual worlds have become cheaper and more powerful in computer terms, the subject of how an avatar relates to an avateer (the avatar’s controller) is becoming increasingly popular. More precisely, interest rests on how an avatar’s appearance may promote or disrupt training objectives, by affecting the behavior or the psychology of a user, and thus subsequently raising or degrading learning. Virtual simulations for training have often shared the aspect of avatars found in Virtual Reality, video games, and Virtual Worlds. This paper examines how avatar representation can provide insight into manipulating avatar appearance for training demands. Existing literature suggests avatars act as drivers for affective changes in attitude and motivation, and can be integrated into an instructional strategy.
KeywordsAgent Avatar Doppelganger Virtual environments Virtual reality Instructional systems design Motivation Attitude Simulation
This research was sponsored by the U.S. Army Research Laboratory – Human Research Engineering Directorate Advanced Training and Simulation Division (ARL HRED ATSD), in collaboration with the Institute for Simulation and Training at the University of Central Florida. The views and conclusions contained in this document are those of the authors and should not be interpreted as representing the official policies, either expressed or implied, of ARL HRED ATSD or the U.S. Government. The U.S. Government is authorized to reproduce and distribute reprints for Government purposes notwithstanding any copyright notation hereon.
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