skip to main content


This content will become publicly available on October 1, 2024

Title: “We Don’t Want a Bird Cage, We Want Guardrails”: Understanding & Designing for Preventing Interpersonal Harm in Social VR through the Lens of Consent
As social Virtual Reality (VR) grows in prevalence, new possibilities for embodied and immersive social interaction emerge, including varied forms of interpersonal harm. Yet, challenges remain regarding defining, identifying, and mitigating said harm in social VR. In this paper, we take an alternative approach to understanding and designing solutions for interpersonal harm in social VR through the lens of consent, which circumvents the lack of consensus and social norms on what should be defined as harm in social VR and reflects the embodied, immersive, and offline-world-like nature of harm in social VR. Through interviews with 39 social VR users, we offer one of the first empirical explorations on how social VR users understand consent as "boundaries," (re)purpose existing social VR features for practicing consent as "boundary setting," and envision the design of future consent mechanics in social VR to balance protection and interaction expectations to mitigate interpersonal harm as "boundary violations" in social VR. This work makes significant contributions to CSCW and HCI research by (1) uncovering how social VR users craft novel conceptualizations of consent as boundaries and harm as unwanted boundary violations, and (2) providing three foundational principles for designing future consent mechanics in social VR informed by actual social VR users.  more » « less
Award ID(s):
2112878
NSF-PAR ID:
10462230
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ; ; ;
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Proceedings of the ACM on humancomputer interaction
Issue:
CSCW2
ISSN:
2573-0142
Format(s):
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Although social support can be a vital component of gender and sexual identity formation, many LGBTQ+ individuals often lack offline social networks for such support. Traditional online technologies also reveal several challenges in providing LGBTQ+ individuals with effective social support. Therefore, social VR, as a unique online space for immersive and embodied experiences, is becoming popular within LGBTQ+ communities for supportive online interactions. Drawing on 29 LGBTQ+ social VR users’ experiences, we investigate the types of social support LGBTQ+ users have experienced through social VR and how they leverage unique social VR features to experience such support. We provide one of the first empirical evidence of how social VR innovates traditional online support mechanisms to empower LGBTQ+ individuals but leads to new safety and equality concerns. We also propose important principles for rethinking social VR design to provide all users, rather than just the privileged few, with supportive experiences. 
    more » « less
  2. null (Ed.)
    Virtual reality (VR) systems have been increasingly used in recent years in various domains, such as education and training. Presence, which can be described as ‘the sense of being there’ is one of the most important user experience aspects in VR. There are several components, which may affect the level of presence, such as interaction, visual fidelity, and auditory cues. In recent years, a significant effort has been put into increasing the sense of presence in VR. This study focuses on improving user experience in VR by increasing presence through increased interaction fidelity and enhanced illusions. Interaction in real life includes mutual and bidirectional encounters between two or more individuals through shared tangible objects. However, the majority of VR interaction to date has been unidirectional. This research aims to bridge this gap by enabling bidirectional mutual tangible embodied interactions between human users and virtual characters in world-fixed VR through real-virtual shared objects that extend from virtual world into the real world. I hypothesize that the proposed novel interaction will shrink the boundary between the real and virtual worlds (through virtual characters that affect the physical world), increase the seamlessness of the VR system (enhance the illusion) and the fidelity of interaction, and increase the level of presence and social presence, enjoyment and engagement. This paper includes the motivation, design and development details of the proposed novel world-fixed VR system along with future directions. 
    more » « less
  3. null (Ed.)
    In this paper, we demonstrate the Information Interactions in Virtual Reality (IIVR) system designed and implemented to study how users interact with abstract information objects in immersive virtual environments in the context of information retrieval. Virtual reality displays are quickly growing as social and personal computing media, and understanding user interactions in these immersive environments is imperative. As a step towards effective information retrieval in such emerging platforms, our system is central to upcoming studies to observe how users engage in information triaging tasks in Virtual Reality (VR). In these studies, we will observe the effects of (1) information layouts and (2) types of interactions in VR. We believe this early system motivates researchers in understanding and designing meaningful interactions for future VR information retrieval applications. 
    more » « less
  4. Badminton is a fast-paced sport that requires a strategic combination of spatial, temporal, and technical tactics. To gain a competitive edge at high-level competitions, badminton professionals frequently analyze match videos to gain insights and develop game strategies. However, the current process for analyzing matches is time-consuming and relies heavily on manual note-taking, due to the lack of automatic data collection and appropriate visualization tools. As a result, there is a gap in effectively analyzing matches and communicating insights among badminton coaches and players. This work proposes an end-to-end immersive match analysis pipeline designed in close collaboration with badminton professionals, including Olympic and national coaches and players. We present VIRD, a VR Bird (i.e., shuttle) immersive analysis tool, that supports interactive badminton game analysis in an immersive environment based on 3D reconstructed game views of the match video. We propose a top-down analytic workflow that allows users to seamlessly move from a high-level match overview to a detailed game view of individual rallies and shots, using situated 3D visualizations and video. We collect 3D spatial and dynamic shot data and player poses with computer vision models and visualize them in VR. Through immersive visualizations, coaches can interactively analyze situated spatial data (player positions, poses, and shot trajectories) with flexible viewpoints while navigating between shots and rallies effectively with embodied interaction. We evaluated the usefulness of VIRD with Olympic and national-level coaches and players in real matches. Results show that immersive analytics supports effective badminton match analysis with reduced context-switching costs and enhances spatial understanding with a high sense of presence. 
    more » « less
  5. In-person human interaction relies on our spatial perception of each other and our surroundings. Current remote communication tools partially address each of these aspects. Video calls convey real user representations but without spatial interactions. Augmented and Virtual Reality (AR/VR) experiences are immersive and spatial but often use virtual environments and characters instead of real-life representations. Bridging these gaps, we introduce DualStream, a system for synchronous mobile AR remote communication that captures, streams, and displays spatial representations of users and their surroundings. DualStream supports transitions between user and environment representations with different levels of visuospatial fidelity, as well as the creation of persistent shared spaces using environment snapshots. We demonstrate how DualStream can enable spatial communication in real-world contexts, and support the creation of blended spaces for collaboration. A formative evaluation of DualStream revealed that users valued the ability to interact spatially and move between representations, and could see DualStream fitting into their own remote communication practices in the near future. Drawing from these findings, we discuss new opportunities for designing more widely accessible spatial communication tools, centered around the mobile phone. 
    more » « less