Int. J. of Arts and Technology   »   2011 Vol.4, No.3



Title: The Uncanny Wall


Author: Angela Tinwell, Mark Grimshaw, Andrew Williams


The University of Bolton, Deane Road, Bolton BL3 5AB, UK.
The University of Bolton, Deane Road, Bolton BL3 5AB, UK.
The University of Bolton, Deane Road, Bolton BL3 5AB, UK


Abstract: This paper proposes that increasing technological sophistication in the creation of realism for human-like, virtual characters is matched by increasing technological discernment on the part of the viewer. One of the goals for achieving a realism that is believable for virtual characters is to overcome the Uncanny Valley where perceived strangeness or familiarity is rated against perceived human-likeness. Empirical evidence shows that the Uncanny can be applied to virtual characters, yet implies a more complex picture than the shape of a deep valley with a sharp gradient as depicted in Mori's original plot of the Uncanny Valley. Our results imply that: (1) perceived familiarity is dependent upon a wider range of variables other than appearance and behaviour and (2) for realistic, human-like characters, the Uncanny Valley is an impossible traverse, is not supported fully by empirical evidence and the concept is better replaced with the notion of an Uncanny Wall.


Keywords: Uncanny Wall; Uncanny Valley; overcoming; impossible traverse; realism; human-like characters; virtual characters; video games; perceived familiarity; perceived strangeness; perceived human-likeness.


DOI: 10.1504/IJART.2011.041485


Int. J. of Arts and Technology, 2011 Vol.4, No.3, pp.326 - 341


Available online: 24 Jul 2011



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