You Are Creepy, but I Will Accept You: A Study of the Effect of Time, Non Player Character Gender and Its Hostility on the Uncanniness Perception

Michael Lee


Characters in most role-playing games are often implausible. This is especially true of female non-player characters, which seem to be especially creepy and unpleasant. As with traditional mediums such as television, female characters in video games are often depicted as sex objects (Beasley & Collins, 2002; Dietz, 1998). Most game-character-related research has revealed evidence that female game characters are either underrepresented or stereotypically designed. However, we can easily find examples in which the uncanny feeling goes away quickly over the short amount of time. In this paper, the Non Player Character uncanniness was measured two times with four NPCs selected randomly from a commercial role-playing game to measure the effect of the number of exposures. The sensation of uncanniness was evoked quickly and strongly at the first exposure but significantly decreased in the second exposure. Also, study participants evaluated female NPCs as creepier than male NPCs.