Why do avatars often look like cartoonic in virtual worlds?Question of the Week on VR:
Earlier this week, I was working for a company that asked an important question: Why do avatars often look like cartoonic?
There are many reasons for the answer. However, from my experience, the main reason or cause is the real people themselves:
Technically, it is quite possible to create great avatars by now. There are great approaches that take a selfie and put a kind of mask over the avatar, making it really quite close to reality.
But the problem is exactly the "imperfection".
You know the real person or you can even see them superimposed via webcam. And the human brain starts comparing directly. It is the deviations that lead to the fact that one sees "errors". Edges where are not or simply the proportions do not fit. So rather a negative experience or perception is generated with it.
If the own digital Twin is perceived as a "cartoon", one is rather inclined to accept it with a positive smile or to associate it with a positive emotion. Cartoons are usually funny or create a positive mood. One knows the feeling of "cartoons". There is a basic resemblance to the person. One would also hang a caricature as a picture on the wall. A badly painted portrait picture from yourself would probably not hang up.
It's the same with digital avatars.
That's why you often see cartoon avatars, spongebobs or even small robots in digital worlds,
because they are accepted with much less criticism. This approach has been used for a very long time.
Wikipedia summarizes this very well with the sentence:
The adjective anthropomorphic (human-shaped) overlaps with the adjectives human-like and humanoid, the latter being used primarily in robotics and science fiction. (https://lnkd.in/eXyg9Edm)
Thus, one's own digital twin is not really accepted until it really corresponds 1:1 to reality. Until then, we are certainly allowed to use the "alternative, funny interpretation" for a while.