Bachelor's Thesis

The Impact of Eye Contact with Virtual Companions on Social Presence and Social Connectedness.

Author:

Timo Fürtges

Supervisor:

Processing Period:

14.06.2021 - 20.09.2021

Abstract

Many different things influence social presence, one of these being Eye Contact. Lankes et al. and Maurer et al. have shown that the implementation of Eye Contact, specifically the visualization of the point of view of the other player, both in a collaborative and competitive setting, can have a positive effect on social presence. Hence, there seems to be a link between social presence and Eye Contact. Further research has shown that Eye Contact can increase the feeling of immersion and realism when talking with a character. Still, there is a lack of studies focusing on social presence of companions when it comes to eye contact. Especially the consideration of social connectedness, which could also be improved by a better social presence, is missing. This bachelor thesis is supposed to fill this gap. For that, one game with two different versions will be developed, one with and one without the implementation of eye contact as a feature. Afterward, these are going to be compared through a study.