Influence of Narrative Elements on User Behaviour in Photorealistic Social VR
Figure 1: a) Living room with indicated the starting position of each user: 1 and 2 are HMD users while 3 and 4 are desktop users. There are also two interactive objects (i.e., the light switch on the left and phone finder on the right) and the main virtual character, detective Sarge.
b) Floor map of the virtual house with the user heatmap of main locations visited over time.
Social Virtual Reality (VR) applications represent a big step forward in the field of remote communication. Social VR provides the possibility for participants to explore and interact with virtual environments and objects, feelings of a full sense of immersion, and being together. Understanding how user behaviour is influenced by the shared virtual space and its elements becomes the key to designing and optimising novel immersive experiences. This paper presents a behavioural analysis of users navigating in 6 degrees of freedom social VR movies. Specifically, we analyse 48 user trajectories from a photorealistic telepresence experiment, in which subjects watch a crime movie together in VR. We investigate how users are affected by salient agents (i.e., virtual characters) and by narrative elements of the VR movie (i.e., dialogues versus interactive part). We complete our assessment by conducting a statistical analysis of the collected data. Results indicate that user behaviour is affected by different narrative and interactive elements. We conclude by presenting our observations and drawing conclusions on future paths for social VR experiences.
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