The Perceived Naturalness of Virtual Locomotion Methods Devoid of Explicit Leg Movements

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Walking-In-Place (WIP) techniques have potential in terms of solving the problem arising when an immersive virtual environment offers a larger freedom of movement than the physical environment. Such techniques are particularly useful when the spatial constraints are very prominent, as they are likely to be in relation to immersive gaming systems located in the homes of consumers. However, most existing WIP techniques rely on movement of the legs which may cause users, wearing a head mounted display, to unintentionally move. This paper details a within-subjects study performed with the intention of investigating how two alternative types of gestural input relying on arm and hip movements compare to the traditional WIP gesture and keyboard input. Visual feedback was delivered through a head-mounted display and auditory feedback was provided by means of a 16-channel surround sound system. The gestures were evaluated in terms of perceived naturalness, presence and real world positional drift. The results suggest that both WIP and arm swinging are perceived as significantly more natural than hip movement and the keyboard configuration. However, arm swinging better matched real walking in terms of energy expenditure and led to significantly less positional drift.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the Motion on Games
Number of pages10
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Publication date2013
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-4503-2546-2
Publication statusPublished - 2013
EventMotion in Games - Dublin, Ireland
Duration: 7 Dec 20139 Dec 2013


ConferenceMotion in Games


  • virtual reality
  • locomotion
  • perceived naturalness
  • interaction
  • gestural input
  • user experience

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