Engaging Virtual Characters

PhD project: Engaging Virtual Character for Serious Games

As our familiarity with technology increases, and delivery devices become increasingly accessible at home and at work, we are more familiar with virtual characters and comfortable working in virtual environments. In addition, serious games have proven to be valuable tools for learning – engaging users, resulting in an increased demand for applications for a variety of purposes from health training to academic learning. This project investigates the development and validation of an engaging virtual character for learning. We will harness the existing knowledge about creating engaging virtual characters, enhancing user experience and increasing user engagement. Endowing our virtual characters with human traits; they will be capable of emotional expression and move and interact with the user in a plausible manner. The second phase of the project will apply our research findings to the development of a serious game – with a design tool for educators to create scenarios for their own students. Perceptual experiments and case studies will be used as validation methodologies.


Start Date: 1/11/2016
End Date: 31/10/2020


Fioraigh cholarship scheme DIT

Lead PI(s)

Dr. Cathy Ennis,

External Partner

Prof. Carol O’Sullivan (TCD)

Team (random order):