1 University POLITEHNICA of Bucharest (ROMANIA)
2 Polytech Grenoble (FRANCE)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN20 Proceedings
Publication year: 2020
Pages: 5506-5511
ISBN: 978-84-09-17979-4
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2020.1442
Conference name: 12th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 6-7 July, 2020
Location: Online Conference
This paper presents the design and development stages of a 3D game for treating fear of public speaking (or glossophobia) using Virtual Reality, so that the people suffering from this type of anxiety disorder can train themselves to talk in front of an audience. The aim of this research was to create a classroom full of students; the user needs to make a presentation in front of this audience. Depending on the quality of the presentation, the audience will react differently and will be more or less interested. After a few trainings like this, the user should see his fear of talking in front of other people disappear.

Each character of the audience has been assigned to a variable called “attention”. The variable corresponds to a number between 0 and 100 which represents the percentage of attention of each student. Depending on the value of this “attention” variable, the character will be in one of the following levels of interest: from 0% to 25% - completely not interested; from 25% to 50% - not interested; from 50% to 65% : listening with not much interest; from 65% to 80% - interested; from 80% to 100% - very interested.

We tried to write a kind of mathematical formula of the attention depending on different factors. All the factors we needed to take in account were : voice, body-gesture, the choice of topic, the gaze (eye-contact), the position of the user in the class, interactions with the audience (jokes & questions), the content of the presentation, the mood of the audience.

In a survey, we asked 62 students from Polytech Grenoble which of these factors were the most important during an oral presentation. Depending on these results, we can give each factor more or less importance in our formula of the attention. We started to ask them how they are feeling when they are making an oral presentation (0 = not comfortable at all; 10 = really comfortable). Based on the results obtained, we can say that more than 60% of these students are not feeling comfortable when they are talking in front of people, making an oral presentation. To conclude, we can say that the quality of the voice seems to be the most important factor for a good presentation. The content and the gaze (eye-contact) with the audience are also very important factors to consider. The actual mood of the audience is also something to take in account. The students who answered this survey also suggested to take into account the duration of the presentation (attention falling with time), the quality of the visual support, the smile of the orator.

We created a script in order to measure the gaze of the user: if he is looking at the student, their attention will increase otherwise it will get lower. We also measured the proximity between the user and the students: if he is close to the students, their attention will increase otherwise it will get lower.
The 3D game has been developed using the Unity game engine, Adobe Fuse for creating the characters with a lot of details and Mixamo for adding animations to the characters. It is rendered over the HTC Vive device from the first-person perspective.
Phobia, fear of public speaking, virtual reality.