Dr Nick Hawes

Reader in Autonomous Intelligent Robotics

School of Computer Science
University of Birmingham
Edgbaston, Birmingham, B15 2TT
United Kingdom

Email: n.a.hawes@cs.bham.ac.uk
Twitter: @hawesie
Phone: +44 (0) 121 41 43739
Office: 133 (first floor, back right)
Office Hours: Mon 12:00, Tues 11:00 (term-time only)
Availability: Doodle MeetMe
[samperietal12] Katrina Samperi, Russell Beale and Nick Hawes. Please keep off the grass: individual norms in virtual worlds. In Proceedings of HCI 2012, The 26th BCS Conference on Human Computer Interaction. September 2012. [pdf] [bib]
Abstract. This paper looks at how personal conventions are unintentionally carried from the real world into virtual environments. We look at a simple example where we investigate whether avatars will follow virtual paths, or will walk on the grass. By default, people use the paths in real world parks, but we have showed that this behaviour has carried over into virtual parks.We investigated this further, postulating that the more exposure an individual had to virtual worlds the more likely they were to break with this social convention and walk on the grass. We observed the movements of agents in a virtual park on two extended occasions, one in 2010 and the other in 2012. From this we were able to see that people, in general, were still keeping to the paths except when invited to move onto the grass. We also look at the likelihood of individuals using another mode of transport, flying. Finally, we conclude that while some patterns can be seen between the ‘age’ of the avatar and their movements on or off the path, more investigation must be done.
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