This paper explores the issue of user embodiment within collaborative virtual environments. By user embodiment we mean the provision of users with appropriate body images so as to represent them to others and also to themselves. By collaborative virtual environments we mean multi-user virtual reality systems which support cooperative work (although we argue that the results of our exploration may also be applied to other kinds of collaborative systems). The main part of the paper identifies a list of embodiment design issues including: presence, location, identity, activity, availability, history of activity, viewpoint, action point, gesture, facial expression, voluntary versus involuntary expression, degree of presence, reflecting capabilities, manipulating the user's view of others, representation across multiple media, autonomous and distributed body parts, truthfulness and efficiency. Following this, we show how these issues are reflected in our own DIVE and MASSIVE prototype collaborative virtual environments.
NASA. Johnson Space Center, ISMCR 1994: Topical Workshop on Virtual Reality. Proceedings of the Fourth International Symposium on Measurement and Control in Robotics; p 128-135