The Uncanny wall

Angela Tinwell, Mark Nicholas Grimshaw, Andrew Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

46 Citations (Scopus)


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 strangeness or familiarity is 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 an impossible traverse, is not supported fully by empirical evidence and the concept is better replaced with the notion of an Uncanny Wall.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Arts and Technology
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)326-341
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • Uncanny Valley,video games,realism,Uncanny Wall,overcoming,impossible traverse,human-like,virtual characters,strangeness,familiarity


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