The effect of Emotions on the Avatars in a Virtual Society

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About The effect of Emotions on the Avatars in a Virtual Society

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Description

Background

The research will be conducted for the company vWorld Corporation Ltd, located in Hoorn NH, a sister company of Mobile Bridges International Ltd. vWorld is a company specialized in creating and exploiting of virtual environments and community platforms. In 2008 vWorld launched ‘Club Time Machine’, www.clubtimemachine.com, a kids edutainment world. Club Time Machine’s targeted audience is kids between the age of 5 and 12 years old. CTM is available in Dutch, English and Spanish and key markets are The Netherlands and United States. A key element of the popularity of virtual environments is the availability of social interaction with other users through an avatar. vWorld wants to introduce agents to the world to increase the number of present users the avatars can interact with. These agents can be seen as “non-human avatars”.

Problems and Goals

A problem of these non-human avatars is that they need to act as humanlike as possible. A way of solving this problem is by using BDI-agents. At vWorld we created a framework to introduce BDI-agents to Club Time Machine. The BDI-model has contributed to the believability of these agents. However, vWorld wants to increase the believability of these agents even further. A lot of research has been done on introducing emotions within these BDI-agents, which are supposed to increase the humanlike behavior even more. So the goal of this master project is to research if emotions in BDI-agents will increase the believability of the agents in Club Time Machine, and specifically the “non-human avatars”.