Do Distant or Colocated Audiences Affect User Activity in VR?

Book Section - 2020


Transactions on Computational Science XXXVII


Romain Terrier
Nicolas Martin
Jérémy Lacoche
Valérie Gouranton
Bruno Arnaldi


We explore the impact of distant or colocated real audiences on social inhibition through a user study in virtual reality (VR). The study investigates, in an application, the differences among two multi-user configurations (i.e., the local and distant conditions) and one control condition where the user is alone (i.e., the alone condition). In the local condition, a single user and a real audience share the same real room. Conversely, in the distant condition, the user and the audience are separated into two different real rooms. The user performed a categorization of numbers task in VR, for which the users’ performance results (i.e., type and answering time) are extracted as subjective feelings and perceptions (i.e., perceptions of others, stress, cognitive workload, presence). The differences between the local and distant configurations are explored. Furthermore, we investigate any gender biases in the objective and subjective results. During the local and distant conditions, the presence of a real audience affects the user’s performance due to social inhibition. The users are even more influenced when the audience does not share the same room, despite the audience being less directly perceived in this condition.