Virtual Reality, Real Impact
How do actions in virtual worlds impact behavior in the real world?
This has been a question that the social sciences have been speculating for some time, but evidence is tricky. A new study out of Stanford finds some of that evidence in a virtual tree-cutting exercise that (in this case) led to real-life paper conservation. Read about it here, or watch this video.
This is just one study, but it raises lots of other questions about the power of immersion into alternate versions of reality. For youth workers, parents, and the gamers they love (yes, I know those categories may not be mutually exclusive), theres at least some evidence that this kind of gaming does change behavior. In this particular case its positive. A study last year also found violent gaming was connected to real-life aggression. Both are worth talking about.
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