Future interfaces will increasingly explore three-dimensional (3D) scenes that will have 3D virtual characters interacting with users. Currently, the characters' influence on users' navigation is not well known. The aim of our research is to study the potential of virtual characters in influencing users' decisions in 3D virtual environments. We implemented an art gallery where human-like characters, with some level of intelligence, can move about and communicate, trying to influence the user's path. When the users enter the gallery, they choose the exhibitions they would like to visit. After that, the characters can assume two positions: “helpful,” which reinforces the previous users' choices, and another one that has a “spirit of contradiction,” suggesting navigation options that are different from those indicated by the users. Five groups of users tested the environment. In some cases, the user could customize the character's physical appearance. In others, a standard model was used. In contrast to the expected results, the experiment indicated that the standard character had more influence on the users' choices than the customized character.

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