Title: The Uncanny Wall

Authors: Angela Tinwell, Mark Grimshaw, Andrew Williams

Addresses: 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

International Journal of Arts and Technology, 2011 Vol.4 No.3, pp.326 - 341

Available online: 24 Jul 2011

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