Bridging the Uncanny: An impossible traverse?

Angela Tinwell, Mark Nicholas Grimshaw

Research output: Contribution to book/anthology/report/conference proceedingArticle in proceedingResearchpeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)
577 Downloads (Pure)


This paper proposes that increasing technological sophistication in the creation of realism for human-like virtual characters is matched by increasing technological discernment on the part of the viewer. One of the goals for achieving a realism that is believable for virtual characters is to overcome the Uncanny Valley where perceived eeriness or familiarity are rated against perceived human-likeness. Empirical evidence shows the uncanny can be applied to virtual characters, yet implies a more complex picture than the shape of a deep valley with a sharp gradient as depicted in Mori?s original plot of the Uncanny Valley. Our results imply that: (1) perceived familiarity is dependent upon a wider range of variables other than appearance and behaviour; and (2) for realistic, human-like characters, the Uncanny Valley is better replaced with the notion of an Uncanny Wall because the Uncanny Valley, as a concept, is not fully supported by the empirical evidence but, more importantly as a standard for creating human-like realism, is an impossible traverse.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMindTrek : 13th International Academic Conference
Publication date1 Sept 2009
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2009
EventMindTrek: 13th International Academic Conference - Tampere, Finland
Duration: 30 Sept 20092 Oct 2009
Conference number: 13th



Bibliographical note

Paper to be presented at the 13th International Academic Conference MindTrek, 30 September - 2 October 2009. The conference website is available at


  • Uncanny Valley,video games,photo-realistic,characters,Emotion,Computer games


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