The key goal was to further develop, secure and disseminate knowledge and concepts concerning the role of high realism in Virtual Reality. It followed the Digital Media Concept professorship to create and examine the effects of high quality worlds and characters in VR. Key focus was on the effect of high versus low realism in (existing and non-existing) digital environments as well as digital characters and avatars (digital representations of human users) and embodied agents (digital representations of computer programs that have been designed to interact with, or on behalf of, a human). This means on the one hand getting better equipment and skills to digitize and create high realistic avatars in VR. And on the other hand this means that a better understanding of the concept of realism and quality is needed. This encompasses a whole range of terms that varies from realistic resemblance, to high fidelity appearance and (real-time interactive and authentic) behaviour based on high AI programming. Research showed that very important is congruency in realism between elements within a VR world. Furthermore it showed that high realism is not always needed to stimulate ‘real’ (VR) behaviour. High immersive experiences and impulse behaviour also functions in virtual environments that have lower levels of realism. Studies have been conducted within the field of health, entertainment, advertising, architecture and journalism. An example is the VR game Descend, see link (used to examine the effect of realism through resemblance).
Partners: Radboud University, Enversed, Stanford University, University of Oregon, Cornell University, several companies