Are gamers better crossers? An examination of action video game experience and dual task effects in a simulated street crossing task

John G. Gaspar, Mark B. Neider, James A. Crowell, Aubrey Lutz, Henry Kaczmarski, Arthur F. Kramer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Objective: A high-fidelity street crossing simulator was used to test the hypothesis that experienced action video game players are less vulnerable than nongamers to dual task costs in complex tasks. Background: Previous research has shown that action video game players outperform nonplayers on many single task measures of perception and attention. It is unclear, however, whether action video game players outperform nonplayers in complex, divided attention tasks. Method: Experienced action video game players and nongamers completed a street crossing task in a high-fidelity simulator. Participants walked on a manual treadmill to cross the street. During some crossings, a cognitively demanding working memory task was added. Results: Dividing attention resulted in more collisions and increased decision making time. Of importance, these dual task costs were equivalent for the action video game players and the nongamers. Conclusion: These results suggest that action video game players are equally susceptible to the costs of dividing attention in a complex task. Application: Perceptual and attentional benefits associated with action video game experience may not translate to performance benefits in complex, realworld tasks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)443-452
Number of pages10
JournalHuman Factors
Volume56
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2014

Keywords

  • distraction
  • dual task performance
  • pedestrian safety
  • video games

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Applied Psychology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

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