Red Dead Redemption 2 (RDR2) features simulations of around 200 animal species including deer and birds. Researchers claim that the players they learned how to identify wildlife real and predict the behavior of animals.
On average, players were able to identify 10 out of 15 animals in a quiz, three more than non-players, the University of Exeter researchers said. They said that playing techniques can be a “communication force”. Red Dead Redemption 2 is an action-adventure game set in the southern and western states of the United States in 1899.
It features animals such as the white-tailed deer, hare, alligator tortoise, lake sturgeon, blue jay and pink spoonbill. Researchers from the University of Exeter and Truro and Penwith College in Cornwall, they have challenged more than 500 playersto identify photographs of real animals.
Red Dead Redemption 2 but not only
The results showed that players were better at identifying wildlife, while some players reported greater knowledge of animal behavior and ecology. One person who took part in the study said Red Dead Redemption 2 taught him how to spot a ram that was about to charge, adding: “No kidding, it saved me from breaking my leg in real life.”
For decades, gamers have learned how to handle braking and drive a racing line in Gran Turismo, or how to lead volunteer teams and organizations in an online guild. And many pilots started their training in a flight simulation game to learn about air speed and ailerons.
But now game designers are aiming for such a high level of realism and detail that the worlds themselves can teach us something. Take Assassin’s Creed Origins: set in ancient Egypt, the art team had to recreate that landscape and its landmarks down to the smallest detail.
Realizing what they had built, they added a “discovery tour” mode, where the player can roam the land without a fight, listening to audio tours of the world around them, curated by industry experts. The feature film has now become an expected part of the series, with one in Ancient Greece as well an upcoming release for Viking Britain.
Creating an immersive virtual world is difficult. Artists, entertainers and musicians they worry about every detail they include, and so the result is that sometimes they get that world so right that it can teach us little details about ours.
Ned Crowley, of Truro and Penwith College, said: “We don’t expect high-budget games to include messages about conservation, but educators and conservationists can learn from the techniques used in the games, how to make things engaging and to each action tie a meaning, something in terms of broader progress in the game. “
“Being indoors on a computer is often seen as the opposite of interacting with nature, but our results show that games can teach people about animals without even trying.”