Body Buddies: Social Signaling through Puppeteering

  • Magy Seif El-Nasr
  • Katherine Isbister
  • Jeffery Ventrella
  • Bardia Aghabeigi
  • Chelsea Hash
  • Mona Erfani
  • Jacquelyn Morie
  • Leslie Bishko
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 6774)


While virtual worlds have evolved to provide a good medium for social communication, they are very primitive in their social and affective communication design. The social communication methods within these worlds have progressed from early text-based social worlds, e.g. MUDS (multi-user dungeons) to 3D graphical interfaces with avatar control, such as Second Life. Current communication methods include triggering gestures by typed commands, and/or selecting a gesture by name through the user interface. There are no agreed-upon standards for organizing such gestures or interfaces. In this paper, we address this problem by discussing a Unity-based avatar pupeteering prototype we developed called Body Buddies. Body Buddies sits on top of the communication program Skype, and provides additional modalities for social signaling through avatar pupeteering. Additionally, we discuss results from an exploratory study we conducted to investigate how people use the interface. We also outline steps to continuously develop and evolve Body Buddies.


avatar pupeteering avatar nonverbal communication social communication with avatars avatar design CVE (Collaborative Virtual Environment) 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Magy Seif El-Nasr
    • 1
  • Katherine Isbister
    • 2
  • Jeffery Ventrella
    • 1
  • Bardia Aghabeigi
    • 1
  • Chelsea Hash
    • 1
  • Mona Erfani
    • 1
  • Jacquelyn Morie
    • 3
  • Leslie Bishko
    • 4
  1. 1.Simon Fraser UniversityCanada
  2. 2.New York University-PolyUSA
  3. 3.Emily Carr UniversityUSA
  4. 4.University of Southern CaliforniaCanada

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