Avatars, the users' virtual representations, are becoming ubiquitous in virtual reality applications. In this context, the avatar becomes the medium which enables users to manipulate objects in the virtual environment. It also becomes the users' main spatial reference, which can not only alter their interaction with the virtual environment, but also the perception of themselves. In this paper, we review and analyse the current state-of-the-art for 3D object manipulation and the sense of embodiment. Our analysis is twofold. First, we discuss the impact that the avatar can have on object manipulation. Second, we discuss how the different components of a manipulation technique (i.e. input, control and feedback) can influence the user’s sense of embodiment. Throughout the analysis, we crystallise our discussion with practical guidelines for VR application designers and we propose several research topics towards ``avatar-friendly’’ manipulation techniques.
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