Leading presence-based strategies to manipulate user experience in virtual reality environments

Oscar I. Caldas, Natalia Sanchez, Mauricio Mauledeux, Oscar F. Avilés, Carlos David Rodriguez Guerrero

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Virtual reality (VR) has been widely used to simulate various real-like environments suitable to explore and interact, similar to being genuinely there (i.e., allowing presence). User experience in virtual environments (VE) is highly subjective, and presence-based self-reports have addressed its assessment; however, it is unclear how a diverse set of VR features relates to the subscales of the questionnaires (e.g., engagement, immersion, or Attention), which could be helpful to create and improve immersive VE. Consequently, most current studies have appealed to self-defined criteria to design their VE in response to a lack of accepted methodological frameworks. Therefore, we systematically reviewed the current publications to identify critical design elements to promote presence and realistic experiences in VR-games users. We extracted information from different databases (Scopus, Web of Science, PubMed, ACM, IEEE, Springer, and Scholar) and used inclusion and exclusion criteria to reduce the original set of 595 candidates to 53 final papers. The findings showed that better quality and quantity in resources allocation (software and hardware) and more accuracy in objects and characters, which all refer to higher immersion, provide Place Illusion (PI), i.e., the spatial dimension of presence. Furthermore, Scenario’s Realism, external stimuli, and coherent match between virtual and real worlds (including body representation) are decisive to set Plausibility Illusion (PSI), i.e., the dimension associated with coherence. Finally, performance feedback, character customization, and multiplayer mechanics are crucial to assure motivation and agency, which are user-exclusive but crucial to defining presence’s perception. Moreover, about 65% of the analyzed studies agreed that immersive media and social interaction could simultaneously influence PI and PSI.
Original languageEnglish
JournalVirtual Reality
Publication statusPublished - 30 Mar 2022


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