We examine how the design features of virtual settings (e.g., appearance of human-controlled avatars and computer-controlled agents; task-oriented vs. recreational environments) change people’s attitudes and behaviors.
The Virtual Interaction & Communication Technology (VICTR) lab at UC Davis studies the uses and effects of interactive technologies. Jorge Peña is the lab director. We are interested in understanding how the design features of video games and virtual environments affect online and offline experiences, and how virtual experiences (e.g., games, simulations) can be leveraged to improve our lives. We are also interested in how people construct messages to coordinate action and meaning in personal relationships and computer-mediated interactions.