Grand theft auto(mation): Travel mode habits and video games

Ryan Lange, Nicholas David Bowman, Jaime Banks, Amanda Lange

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

A growing area of video game research considers factors external to games that might predict both observed in-game and physical world decisions. One factor may be an individual's habitual behaviors, such as their physical activity routines. Because the authors tend to automate behaviors that they repeat in stable circumstances or contexts, virtual re-creations of those stimuli should prompt the same behavior in the game environment. Moreover, as virtual worlds become more similar to the physical world, behaviors the authors learn in physical reality might influence virtual behaviors. The authors ask two research questions: (RQ1) Is there an association between real-world habits and in-game decisions? (RQ2) Does the nature of the ingame task influence any relationship between real-world habits and in-game decisions? A quasi-experiment of 110 students at a large, mid-Atlantic university demonstrated that physical activity routines bias in-game transportation decisions, particularly when prompted to pursue a specific goal over a free exploration task.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-50
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Technology and Human Interaction
Volume11
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2015

Keywords

  • Decision-making
  • Habits
  • Physical activity
  • Video games
  • Virtual worlds

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