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Games Entertainment

Video Game Conditioning Spills Over Into Real Life 232

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the here-we-go-again dept.
doug141 writes "Lessons learned in video games may transcend computers, PlayStations and Wiis. New research suggests that virtual worlds sway real-life choices. Twenty-two volunteers who played a cycling game learned to associate one team's jersey with a good flavored drink and another team's jersey with a bad flavored drink. Days later, 3/4 of the subjects avoided the same jersey in a real-world test. Marketers and lawyers will take note."
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Video Game Conditioning Spills Over Into Real Life

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  • Weird Assumptions (Score:5, Insightful)

    by pete-classic (75983) <hutnick@gmail.com> on Wednesday January 28, 2009 @12:27PM (#26641127) Homepage Journal

    It seems very strange to suppose that intentionally creating an association between visual and taste stimuli would magically not work, just because a video game is involved.

    I mean, people have been learning things on television screens for decades. And projection screens for decades before that. What on Earth is surprising, or even interesting, about showing that putting a game controller in a person's hand doesn't thwart this method of learning?

    -Peter

  • by stewbacca (1033764) on Wednesday January 28, 2009 @12:28PM (#26641143)
    This has nothing to do with "lessons learned from video games" and says everything about the power of marketing.
  • not surprising (Score:4, Insightful)

    by jm4 (1137329) on Wednesday January 28, 2009 @12:28PM (#26641153)
    The shouldn't come as any surprise. Computer simulations are routinely used for training and conditioning in a variety of situations from flight training to military applications.
  • Sample Size? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ChinggisK (1133009) on Wednesday January 28, 2009 @12:31PM (#26641215)

    Twenty-two volunteers who played a cycling game

    Good to see they're using a nice large group of test subjects.

  • by geekmux (1040042) on Wednesday January 28, 2009 @12:35PM (#26641265)

    The last thing the videogames industry needs to every game festooned with ads for products the gamers would never buy in the first place.

    First you bitch that you want the virtual worlds to be as realistic and lifelike as possible.

    Then, you bitch that there are now ads in your virtual world, which of course is nothing like the real world(yes, that is sarcasm you smell)

    (Goldmember) This is no pleasing you.

  • Re:misleading (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Reziac (43301) * on Wednesday January 28, 2009 @12:47PM (#26641475) Homepage Journal

    How is this different from going to a live game and drinking a certain brand of beer while you're in the stadium??

    As others have pointed out, the world is full of stuff we associate that way. Video games are hardly unique.

  • by MozeeToby (1163751) on Wednesday January 28, 2009 @12:58PM (#26641645)

    I think the assumption here is that the gamer will identify with the product if it is associated with his 'team' in the game. Having the same advertising for two products, one associated with your team and another associated with the enemy makes you want the one associated with the 'good guys' more. Essentially, they're saying that connecting your product with the enemy will actually weaken its percieved value.

    I suspect the army already knew this (or at least suspected it, since it is pretty logical). Look at the America's Army game they put out and you see a good example. No matter which side you are on, you are always drawn as a US soldier and the enemy is always drawn as a terrorist, even if you switch sides in the middle of a fight.

  • by A. B3ttik (1344591) on Wednesday January 28, 2009 @12:58PM (#26641647)
    What they really need to do is see if people can learn things done -entirely- within Video Games.

    Like what if in a Pepsi/Coke video game, Coke gives you Health and Pepsi hurts you... would these people start preferring Coke over Pepsi? Or maybe there would be some reverse psychology where since people -can't- have Pepsi in the game world, they will intrinsically want it more in the real world.

    The mind is complicated, but I'm sure that, yes, connections are formed when playing video games just as they are anywhere else.
  • Re:Sample Size? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by internerdj (1319281) on Wednesday January 28, 2009 @01:06PM (#26641751)
    I also would wager it closely resembles the attendence count of the psych 101 class taught by the person running the experiment.
  • by philspear (1142299) on Wednesday January 28, 2009 @01:09PM (#26641787)

    The last thing the videogames industry needs to every game festooned with ads for products the gamers would never buy in the first place.

    I know, I'm never going to buy "bad flavored drink" no matter how many jerseys I see it on.

  • I think you may be draws a faalse dichotomy.

    The first one is probabyl refering to look (tectures) and physics, while the second is advertising.

    At least when I say 'real as possible' I am referring to look and behavior of objects.

    I don't mind advertising, just as long as it's a natural fit in the game, and not some 10 second cut scene of someone drinking a soft drink.

    Of course that won't happen becasue advertiser want to 'grab your eyes' and in order to do that they must stand out. So instead of a racing car with stickers from advertiser you would expect, we will get flashing ads, ads on the car radio, ads when the character watches TV, and so on.

    Plus, if game companies want to be advertising companies that gets eys with games, then games should be a hell f a lot cheaper.
    Google is an advertising company that get's eyes with a free and simple to use Search engine. A search engine that cost a big ol' pile of cash to run.

  • by philspear (1142299) on Wednesday January 28, 2009 @01:18PM (#26641907)

    First you bitch that you want the virtual worlds to be as realistic and lifelike as possible.

    Then, you bitch that there are now ads in your virtual world, which of course is nothing like the real world(yes, that is sarcasm you smell)

    What? Who wants games to be as "realistic and lifelike as possible?" I want GRAPHICS to be as realistic as possible, the actual content and gameplay can and should take liberties. Example: mirror's edge would be a terrible game if you randomly landed wrong, broke your femur, and had to spend months of real game time doing therapy before you could continue. Rock band would suck if you had to spend hours upon hours practicing, only for the band to break up and the game to be over after one gig. Super mario bros would have sold zero copies if the italian plumbers had to face a clogged toilet rather than saving the princess.

    Jesus man, what kind of boring ass games do you play? Games are SUPPOSED to be unrealistic in that they take the boring or annoying (read; ADS) out.

    (Note that if you were joking, little too subtle there, and the insightful mod didn't help.)

  • by Temujin_12 (832986) on Wednesday January 28, 2009 @01:31PM (#26642085)

    I'm tired of the "X/Y/Z doesn't affect me" mantra. Everything affects you.

    Does reading slashdot 12 times a day affect you? Yes.

    Would reading the entire constitution of the US everyday affect you? Yes.

    Does skipping a night of sleep affect you? Yes.

    Does holding down a full time job affect you? Yes.

    Does playing video games affect you? Yes.

    Everything you engage in affects you. It's called being human. It's not a question of whether something affects you, it's a question of whether you are mature enough to recognise HOW it effects you and make appropriate adjustments if necessary.

    The insistence that you are somehow superior to every aspect of life and can only be affected if you allow it is just immature arrogance.

  • by jonaskoelker (922170) <jonaskoelker@@@gnu...org> on Wednesday January 28, 2009 @01:35PM (#26642137) Homepage

    <sarcasm>Good to see they're using a nice large group of test subjects.</sarcasm>

    The article is here: http://www.jneurosci.org/cgi/reprint/29/4/1046.pdf [jneurosci.org]

    Could you please point to which of their inferences you think breaks down because of statistical problems caused by the sample size?

    If no such problem exists, the sample size was fine.

    I recall reading a set of guidelines for writing psych papers (discussing and critiquing an article). They said quite explicitly that complaining about sample size was about the cheapest shot available, so don't do it unless you can really back it up.

    To the mods who think my parent is insightful: could you please spell out to me what the insight is? Because I haven't seen any problems with the sample size, only an unsubstantiated claim.

  • by Ioldanach (88584) on Wednesday January 28, 2009 @01:43PM (#26642233)

    Look at the America's Army game they put out and you see a good example. No matter which side you are on, you are always drawn as a US soldier and the enemy is always drawn as a terrorist, even if you switch sides in the middle of a fight.

    Which seems pretty accurate to me, when you switch sides, you're probably going to perceive your new side well and the other side as terrorists.

  • Re:misleading (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 28, 2009 @01:48PM (#26642307)

    good point, though your use of "irregardless" somehow make it seem less valid....

  • by DeadDecoy (877617) on Wednesday January 28, 2009 @01:51PM (#26642337)
    It really depends. Correct product placement in some games does make the virtual world more immersive. You should hop down to gametrailers and take a look at the new Yakuza game, where when you walk into a supermarket, there are high-rez versions of a number of products (but all within context). The same could be done within Dead Rising without upsetting the gamer. Now I agree, I don't want totally out-of-place adds in my games, but in some contexts, it actually works pretty well. If a game does have to include adds to bolster it's revenue stream and can't gracefully include it in the game world, they should just add it as a footnote in the loading screen. There's little harm in that, as you're already waiting.
  • by pete-classic (75983) <hutnick@gmail.com> on Wednesday January 28, 2009 @07:28PM (#26647429) Homepage Journal

    Well, I hope your comments aren't directed at me. I'm 100% for parents controlling the media their children consume. I convinced my step-mother not to allow her child to play GTA III.

    I do, however, absolutely believe that I am better equipped to choose what media I consume than any politician. GTA III is one of my all-time favorite games.

    -Peter

"Nature is very un-American. Nature never hurries." -- William George Jordan

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