Exploring human behavior with Grand Theft Auto V: A study of assisted cognition in wayfinding

Romain Delgrange, Jean-Marie Burkhardt, Valérie Gyselinck
2020 International Journal of Virtual Reality  
The rise of virtual reality has overcome many of the methodological challenges faced by researchers studying spatial navigation. Yet, the difficulty in developing life-like virtual settings still remains a substantial barrier to most studies when fidelity to the real world has to be achieved in order to ensure some psychological validity of the results. Moreover, the variety of the settings results in standardization issues across studies. Our argument is that widely available video games could
more » ... represent a worthwhile alternative to laboratory-made virtual environments, while providing a satisfactory methodological quality. This study assessed a prototype of landmark-based navigational aid by administering wayfinding tasks in the video game Grand Theft Auto V. Our results provide evidence that this video game offers a transparent and adaptable way to investigate cognitive processes with high experimental control and psychological validity. Recommendations towards the use of video game-based methodologies for future research are discussed.
doi:10.20870/ijvr.2020.20.1.3249 fatcat:w4tsbtqvgjb2jnx6lftzp3dvs4