The Perception of Avatars in Virtual Reality During Professional Meetings

Britta Nordin Forsberg*, Kathrin Kirchner

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


Social Virtual Reality (VR) offers virtual social spaces, where people can meet, collaborate and socialize via head-mounted displays. In VR applications, users can create their own avatars that can control to walk around and interact directly with other users. Recently, social VR gained importance for professional meetings, in order to allow socializing and collaborating during times of travel restrictions. Unlike VR in gaming for the purpose of amusement, where avatars can be fantasy figures, avatars in professional meetings usually look more serious and more like the person behind the avatar. Based on semi-structured interviews in two different scenarios – a conference and a company business meeting – we report about the role and perception of avatars in professional meetings. Our interview results reveal that avatars were perceived differently in both cases. In the conference scenario, avatars were seen as both enablers and obstacles for interaction with other users during the social event. In the company scenario, interviewees did not express any feelings of being restricted in their collaboration with others by the visual appearance of the avatar that represents them.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInternational Conference on Human - Computer Interaction
Publication date2021
Publication statusPublished - 2021
SeriesCommunications in Computer and Information Science


  • Virtual reality
  • Avatar
  • Professional meeting
  • Socializing
  • Virtual collaboration


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