The Uncanny Valley



Researchers have studied the curious effect humanoid robots have on the human brain which is isn't sure how to process a mechanical "person." The closer the robot is to looking human the more uncanny it is, however robots that don't resemble people are fine.  So basically they have come to the conclusion that robots are creepy.
The actual "valley" refers to a precipitous drop in "likeability" as onscreen characters and humanoid robots step too far towards being human-like. As in, we enjoy Pixar's Wall-E and Nintendo's Mario, but we get the heeby jeebies from the ultra-realistic faces of The Polar Express or the upcoming Tintin movie.

So far, the phenomenon has been described entirely anecdotally, but an international team of researchers, led by Ayse Pinar Saygin of the University of California, San Diego, wanted to find out if the sensation was actually caused by something deep within our brains.

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Seems to me the uncanniness comes from the zombie effect. You are looking at something that appears as you do, but you cannot empathize with it. There is no phenomenal (mental) content for you to "mirror". The same uncanniness may be linked to how people regard zombies. Or the creepiness of sleepwalking.

From an idealistic point of view; this is because we are afraid of our true nature, and our true nature is more zombie-like than we are willing to accept. To face up to our own preprogrammed routinized selves would make not only us, but everyone around us possess that same creepiness. Then we'd have to try to get out of it. Like a turtle trying to get out of a fisherman's net.
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This is why most new games are shit. Get rid of high-poly models and get back to low-res billboard sprites a la DOOM or low poly models like Quake or Minecraft
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