Just as readers feel immersed when the story line adheres to their experiences, users will more easily feel immersed in a virtual environment if the behavior of the characters in that environment adheres to their expectations, based on their life-long observations in the real world. This paper introduces a framework that allows authors to establish natural, human-like behavior, physical interaction and emotional engagement of characters living in a virtual environment. Represented by realistic virtual characters, this framework allows people to feel immersed in an Internet based virtual world in which they can meet and share experiences in a natural way as they can meet and share experiences in real life. Rather than just being visualized in a 3D space, the virtual characters (autonomous agents as well as avatars representing users) in the immersive environment facilitate social interaction and multi-party collaboration, mixing virtual with real.

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Real and Virtual Engagement in Realistic Immersive Environments
International Conference on Digital Signal Processing
Distributed and Interactive Systems

Kuijk, F., van Broeck, S., Dareau, C., Ravenet, B., Ochs, M., Apostolakis, K., … Izquierdo, E. (2013). A Framework for Human-like Behavior in an Immersive Virtual World. In Proceedings of International Conference on Digital Signal Processing 2013 (DSP 18) (pp. 1–1). doi:10.1109/ICDSP.2013.6622826