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March 21, 2006



And just how can you tell if two avatars are maintaining eye contact?

Pixel Kill

Seems a bit hard to do in third person, certainly since your actual "eyes" are basically a few feet above the avatar's head. In first person it'd make more sense.

The first point is great though, very interesting. :)


Some games include eye contact based on where your cursor is, and fully poseable head motion etc. SWG and SL are two I can think of. If you're zoomed in on someone's head in SL, your eyes are looking straight into theirs....

Alice, is this research being done at PARC?


The orientation of an avatar's head is a pretty good proxy for eye gaze when your view is zoomed out and faces are hard to see. For example, in SWG and EQII, clicking on another player's avatar makes yours "look at" it. Although you may not see eyes, the turning of heads feels like "eye contact."

Also in EQII, whenever your avatar comes within a certain radius of another (PC or NPC), the avatars automatically "make eye contact." It's very cool. It really brings the NPCs to life and even feels pretty natural with player characters (when someone steps into your personal space in real life, your reflex is to look at them).

Jez - the research on the slides is NOT being done at PARC, but we ARE doing work on avatar interaction using screen-capture video analysis. Check it out http://blogs.parc.com/playon/archives/data/avatar_interaction/index.html.


The head posing is interesting, but I don't believe it's analogous of eye contact. Just because you've clicked someone doesn't mean you're talking to them or even paying them any attention beyond the cursory examination you originally gave them.

Eye contact is not a valid metric when conversations are textual or in teamspeak. These create conversation planes that have no relationship to the physical game world.


Thanks, Bob! I remember your talk at the Austin Game Conference -- interesting stuff.

passing drug test

Thanks For Such A Nice Post

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