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Session Name:

Virtual Worlds in Instruction: How Real is Too Real?


This presentation details the results of a research study investigating player behavior in the virtual environment. The initial reaction of a user to a new 3-D world can vary tremendously, this study was done to help designers of these worlds predict how their target audience will behave. As technology allows simulations to become more and more realistic, this study is designed as an assessment of how the freedom of a super-explorable virtual environment can distract players from instructional tasks.

Conventional wisdom in game design places the tutorial at the beginning, and often uses gender as explanation for different game-related behaviors. This studys results show placing tutorials at the beginning may not make sense for users that prefer exploration over instruction, and gender isnt as predictive an element as other factors. Designers of virtual worlds can use these results to better tailor their worlds to their intended audiences and developers can use the results to gauge the level of detail they should build into the worlds they create.

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  • GDC 2006
  • Edd Schneider
  • State University of NY at Potsdam
  • free content
  • SGS: Serious Game Design
  • Serious Games