One of the great benefits of virtual reality (VR) is the implementation of features that go beyond realism. Common "unrealistic" locomotion techniques (like teleportation) can avoid spatial limitation of tracking, but minimize potential benefits of more realistic techniques (e.g. walking). As an alternative that combines realistic physical movement with hyper-realistic virtual outcome, we present JumpVR, a jump-based locomotion augmentation technique that virtually scales users' physical jumps. In a user study (N=28), we show that jumping in VR (regardless of scaling) can significantly increase presence, motivation and immersion compared to teleportation, while largely not increasing simulator sickness. Further, participants reported higher immersion and motivation for most scaled jumping variants than forward-jumping. Our work shows the feasibility and benefits of jumping in VR and explores suitable parameters for its hyper-realistic scaling. We discuss design implications for VR experiences and research.
Virtual Reality (VR) allows for infinitely large environments. However, the physical traversable space is always limited by real-world boundaries. This discrepancy between physical and virtual dimensions renders traditional locomotion methods used in real world unfeasible. To alleviate these limitations, research proposed various artificial locomotion concepts such as teleportation, treadmills, and redirected walking. However, these concepts occupy the user's hands, require complex hardware or large physical spaces. In this paper, we contribute nine VR locomotion concepts for foot-based locomotion, relying on the 3D position of the user's feet and the pressure applied to the sole as input modalities. We evaluate our concepts and compare them to state-of-the-art point & teleport technique in a controlled experiment with 20 participants. The results confirm the viability of our approaches for foot-based and engaging locomotion. Further, based on the findings, we contribute a wireless hardware prototype implementation.
In this paper we describe the design and evaluation of The Next Fairy Tale (TNFT) VR, a theatrical interactive storytelling system created in virtual reality and informed by performing arts theories. TNFT was designed to produce opportunities for interactors to experience role-taking and character identification using design principles drawn from actor training and theatrical performance. We report the results of a pilot qualitative study of interactors using TNFT to explore the elements of the design that supported or hindered roleplaying behavior. We identify four design patterns that supported roleplaying in the system: (1) using explicit roles to set player expectations, (2) embracing the "mask and the mirror" effect, (3) attending to visual and interactional details, and (4) easing the player gently into the roleplaying experience. These patterns speak to a broader need to support roleplay through explicit scaffolding of desired player behaviors in digital narrative experiences.
Participating in competitive races can be a thrilling experience for athletes, involving a rush of excitement and sensations of flow, achievement, and self-fulfilment. However, for non-athletes, the prospect of competition is often a scary one which affects intrinsic motivation negatively, especially for less fit, less competitive individuals. We propose a novel method making the positive racing experience accessible to non-athletes using a high-intensity cycling VR exergame: by recording and replaying all their previous gameplay sessions simultaneously, including a projected future performance, players can race against a crowd of "ghost" avatars representing their individual fitness journey. The experience stays relevant and exciting as every race adds a new competitor. A longitudinal study over four weeks and a cross-sectional study found that the new method improves physical performance, intrinsic motivation, and flow compared to a non-competitive exergame. Additionally, the longitudinal study provides insights into the longer-term effects of VR exergames.
User experience estimation of VR exergame players by recognising their affective state could enable us to personalise and optimise their experience. Affect recognition based on psychophysiological measurements has been successful for moderate intensity activities. High intensity VR exergames pose challenges as the effects of exercise and VR headsets interfere with those measurements. We present two experiments that investigate the use of different sensors for affect recognition in a VR exergame. The first experiment compares the impact of physical exertion and gamification on psychophysiological measurements during rest, conventional exercise, VR exergaming, and sedentary VR gaming. The second experiment compares underwhelming, overwhelming and optimal VR exergaming scenarios. We identify gaze fixations, eye blinks, pupil diameter and skin conductivity as psychophysiological measures suitable for affect recognition in VR exergaming and analyse their utility in determining affective valence and arousal. Our findings provide guidelines for researchers of affective VR exergames.