a colloquial name for a method of testing if an experiencer has reached a state of presence by monitoring their behaviour when threatened by a virtual object

For example, if the experiencer had a baseball bat swung at their head, would they duck? If the answer is yes, then the conclusion is that a state of presence has been reached, because the experiencer believes the threat – in this instance, the bat – is real and seeks to avoid it.

Although the research shows that the test is a valid method of testing presence, it does come with some risks. Namely, a decision by the developer to place an artificial threat into the environment or narrative in order to test presence, could inadvertently break presence if the experiencer realises it isn’t actually a viable threat.


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