January 31, 2013
Virtual Superheroes More Helpful In Real World Too
Using superpowers in virtual reality games makes people more likely to be helpful in real-life, study finds
Having virtual super-powers in a game may incite people to better behavior in the real world, according to research published January 30 in the open access journal PLOS ONE by Robin Rosenberg and colleagues from Stanford University's Virtual Human Interaction Lab.
The researchers suggest that embodying a superpower in virtual reality may prime players to 'think like superheroes' and thus facilitate subsequent helpful behavior in the real world. Alternately, the authors also suggest that participants who could fly in the game may have felt like more active participants than those who passively sat in the helicopter while performing tasks, and this more active involvement may have induced their subsequent behavior.
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