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 design and optimize novel immersive experiences. This paper presents a behavioural analysis of users navigating in 6 degrees of freedom social VR movie. 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.


Silvia Rossi | Irene Viola | Jack Jansen | Shishir Subramanyam | Laura Toni | Pablo Cesar


Please cite our paper in your publications if it helps your research:

author = {Rossi, Silvia and Viola, Irene and Jansen, Jack and Subramanyam, Shishir and Toni, Laura and Cesar, Pablo}, 
title = {Influence of Narrative Elements on User Behaviour in Photorealistic Social VR}, 
year = {2021}, 
isbn = {9781450384360}, 
publisher = {Association for Computing Machinery}, 
url = {},
booktitle = {Proceedings of the International Workshop on Immersive Mixed and Virtual Environment Systems (MMVE '21)}, 
pages = {1–7}, 
numpages = {7}