SIEGE Conference Presentation Links

Here are the links and resources for my presentation at the Southern Interactive Entertainment and Game Exposition (SIEGE)

Presentation description:

Why 3D Matters for Learning and Collaboration?

Do 3D graphics and interactions really make a difference in how a learner interacts with content or other learners? Is a 2D environment as effective for serious games as a 3D environment? Studies are beginning to reveal the elements that make 3d characters more engaging and intriguing to learners. Additionally, research has indicated that the interactions learners have with 3D characters have an impact on learners behavior both within the 3D environment and for some time after the learner leaves that 3D environment. It turns out that 3D does make a difference in terms of learning, motivation and impact on behavior. This session will discuss research that supports the argument that 3D learning environments add additional cues and inputs that make them ideal for teaching certain types of content.

Here are my slides from the presentation:

Here are links to  some research which indicates that moving through a computer generated interface as an avatar provides powerful learning stimulus.

Here are some points from an article titled Promoting motivation with virtual agents and avatars: role of visual presence and appearance by Amy Baylor.

1) An experience as an avatar can change a person’s real life perceptions. In a study conducted by Yee and Bailenson (2006) It was found that negative stereotyping of the elderly was significantly reduced when participants were placed in avatars of old people compared with those participants placed in avatars of young people.

2) Watching an avatar that looks like you performing an activity influences you to perform a similar or same activity in the future. In a study, users watched an avatar that looked like them exercising and loosing weight in a virtual environment, the result was that those that watched the avatar of themselves subsequently exercised more and eat more healthy in the real world as compared to a control group. This as reported by Fox and Bailenson (2009).

In similar study, discussed by Baylor (2010), “participants were exposed to an avatar representing themselves running on a treadmill, another avatar running or an avatar representing themselves loitering. Within 24 hours, after the experiment, participants who were exposed to the avatar running that represented themselves exercised significantly more than those in the other conditions.”

As study by Ersner-Hershfield et al. (2008) found that when college-aged students observed their avatar ageing in a virtual mirror, they formed a psychological connection to their “future selves” and decided to invest more money in a retirement account as opposed to a control group.

3) People tend to conform to how their avatar appears regardless of how it is perceived by others. In one study by Yee and Bailenson (2007), participants with taller avatars behaved more confidently in a negotiation task than participants with shorter avatars; specifically, they were more willing to make unfair splits in negotiation tasks. In contrast, participants with shorter avatars were more willing to accept unfair offers than those who had taller avatars.

Additionally, in subsequent research, Yee et. al. (2009) found that behavioral changes originating within a virtual environment can transfer to subsequent face-to-face interactions. In the study, participants were placed in an immersive virtual environment and were given either shorter or taller avatars. They then interacted with a human confederate for about 15 min. In addition to causing a behavioral difference within the virtual environment, the authors found that participants given taller avatars negotiated more aggressively in the subsequent face-to-face interactions with the confederate than participants given shorter avatars.

4.) Interactions with strangers in the virtual world is similar to interactions with strangers in the physical world. Even in the area of racial bias Read about it in Researchers find racial bias in the virtual world. The researcher states that “You would think when you’re wandering around this fantasyland … that you might behave differently, but people exhibited the same type of behavior — and the same type of racial bias — that they show in the real world all the time.” We really do behave in a manner similar to our physical selves in a 3D virtual Immersive environment.

Also read: Accidental Learning and the Power of Stories

You are Your Avatar-Your Avatar is You

A growing body of evidence is finding that strong behavioral and attitudinal changes occur as the result of being an avatar in a virtual immersive environment.

The concept of the “Sense of Self” is a very powerful influencer in the learning environment around virtual worlds.  Check out the book’s web site Learning in 3D at

To learn more about virtual immersive environments for learning, check out this book:

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Karl Kapp
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