Published December 31, 2018 | Version Accepted pre-print
Conference paper Open

Studying Levels of Presence in a Virtual Environment Simulating Drug Use in Schools: Effect on Different Character Perspectives

  • 1. Cyprus University of Technology, Cyprus
  • 2. University of Geneva, Switzerland
  • 3. Cyprus University of Technology, Cyprus and Research Centre on Interactive Media Smart Systems and Emerging Technologies, Cyprus


This paper studies the aspect of presence in a Virtual Reality (VR) environment that can be used for training purposes in the education sector and more specifically for teacher training and professional development. During the VR experience trainees
had the chance to view the world from different perspectives through the eyes of different characters appearing in the scene.
The experimental evaluation conducted aims to examine the effect of viewing the experience from different perspectives and
viewpoints in relation to the overall user experience and the level of presence achieved. To accomplish these objectives an
experiment was performed investigating presence and the correlation between presence and different viewpoints/perspectives.
To measure presence a combination of methods were used including two different questionnaires, the use of an eeg device,
EMOTIV EPOC+ and the analysis of heart rates. The results indicate that high levels of presence were recorded and that
increased levels of presence are associated with viewing the VE from a student rather than a teacher perspective.


This work has been partly supported by the project that has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 739578 (RISE – Call: H2020-WIDESPREAD-01-2016-2017-TeamingPhase2) and the Government of the Republic of Cyprus through the Directorate General for European Programmes, Coordination and Development. DOI 10.2312/egve.20181329, Studying Levels of Presence in a Virtual Environment Simulating Drug Use in Schools: Effect on Different Character Perspectives, Christofi, M., Baka, E., Stavroulia, K.E., Michael-Grigoriou, D., Lanitis, A. & Magnenat-Thalmann, ICAT-EGVE 2018 - International Conference on Artificial Reality and Telexistence and Eurographics Symposium on Virtual Environments, Bruder, Gerd and Yoshimoto, Shunsuke and Cobb, Sue, 2018, pages 163-170, Copyright ©2018 The Eurographics Association, The Eurographics Association.



Files (4.3 MB)

Additional details


NOTRE – Network for sOcial compuTing REsearch (NOTRE) 692058
European Commission
RISE – Research Center on Interactive Media, Smart System and Emerging Technologies 739578
European Commission


  • BATSON C. D.: These things called empathy: eight related but distinct phenomena.
  • BOUCHARD S.: Emotions and the emotional valence afforded by the virtual environment. In Virtual reality. InTech, 2010.
  • BAKA E., STAVROULIA K. E., MAGNENAT-THALMANN N., LANITIS A.: An eeg-based evaluation for comparing the sense of presence between virtual and physical environments. In Proceedings of Computer Graphics International 2018 (2018), ACM, pp. 107–116.
  • HEALTH M., CENTERS W.: The bloodshot look: Why cannabis causes red eyes, Oct 2016. URL: the-bloodshot-look-why-cannabis-causes-red-eyes/.
  • HEETER C.: Being there: The subjective experience of presence. Presence: Teleoperators & Virtual Environments 1, 2 (1992), 262–271.
  • HODGES L. F., KOOPER R., MEYER T. C., DE GRAAFF J. J. H., ROTHBAUM B. O., OPDYKE D., WILLIFORD J. S., NORTH M. M.: Presence as the defining factor in a VR application. Tech. rep., Georgia Institute of Technology, 1994.
  • KOBER S. E., KURZMANN J., NEUPER C.: Cortical correlate of spatial presence in 2d and 3d interactive virtual reality: an eeg study. International Journal of Psychophysiology 83, 3 (2012), 365–374.
  • KOUNNOU A.: "they gave substance to my 12-year-old son at school" complains father, Apr 2017. URL: http://www.
  • LOMBARD M., DITTON T.: At the heart of it all: The concept of presence. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication 3, 2 (1997).
  • MEEHAN M., INSKO B., WHITTON M., BROOKS F.: An objective surrogate for presence: Physiological response. In 3rd International Workshop on Presence (2000).
  • ON DRUG ABUSE N. I.: What are marijuana effects?, Feb 2018. URL: https://www.drugabuse. gov/publications/research-reports/marijuana/ what-are-marijuana-effects.
  • ROGERS S.: Why is presence important for virtual reality?, Nov 2017. URL: why-is-presence-important-for-virtual-reality/.
  • REGENBRECHT H. T., SCHUBERT T. W., FRIEDMANN F.: Measuring the sense of presence and its relations to fear of heights in virtual environments. International Journal of Human-Computer Interaction 10, 3 (1998), 233–249.
  • STAVROULIA K. E., BAKA E., CHRISTOFI M., MICHAELGRIGORIOU D., MAGNENAT-THALMANN N., LANITIS A.: A virtual reality environment simulations drug use in schools: effect on emotions and mood states. In In The International Conference on Information Communication Technologies in Education (ICICTE 2018) Proceedings (2018), pp. 225–234.
  • SHERIDAN T. B.: Further musings on the psychophysics of presence. Presence: Teleoperators & Virtual Environments 5, 2 (1996), 241– 246.
  • SZILY E., KÉRI S.: Emotion-related brain regions. Ideggyógyászati szemle 61, 3-4 (2008), 77–86.
  • SLATER M., SANCHEZ-VIVES M. V.: Enhancing our lives with immersive virtual reality. Frontiers in Robotics and AI 3 (2016), 74.
  • SLATER M., USOH M.: Representations systems, perceptual position, and presence in immersive virtual environments. Presence: Teleoperators & Virtual Environments 2, 3 (1993), 221–233.
  • SCHUEMIE M. J., VAN DER MAST C.: Presence: Interacting in virtual reality. In Proceedings, Twente Workshop on Language Technology (1999), vol. 15, pp. 213–217.
  • SCHUEMIE M. J., VAN DER STRAATEN P., KRIJN M., VAN DER MAST C. A.: Research on presence in virtual reality: A survey. CyberPsychology & Behavior 4, 2 (2001), 183–201.
  • THOMAS G., KLONER R. A., REZKALLA S.: Adverse cardiovascular, cerebrovascular, and peripheral vascular effects of marijuana inhalation: what cardiologists need to know. The American journal of cardiology 113, 1 (2014), 187–190.
  • USOH M., CATENA E., ARMAN S., SLATER M.: Using presence questionnaires in reality. Presence: Teleoperators & Virtual Environments 9, 5 (2000), 497–503.
  • VÄSTFJÄLL D.: The subjective sense of presence, emotion recognition, and experienced emotions in auditory virtual environments. CyberPsychology & Behavior 6, 2 (2003), 181–188.
  • WATSON D., CLARK L. A., TELLEGEN A.: Development and validation of brief measures of positive and negative affect: the panas scales. Journal of personality and social psychology 54, 6 (1988), 1063.
  • WITMER B. G., SINGER M. J.: Measuring presence in virtual environments: A presence questionnaire. Presence 7, 3 (1998), 225–240.