Red Dead Redemption 2 helps people learn about animals while not shooting them

Anyone who has played Red Dead Redemption 2 is aware of the level of attention to detail that makes no sense in the world, but now new research shows that Rockstar’s Western can be used for educational purposes – in particular, to teach people about animals and the wild.

A Biology teacher from Cornwall, UK, by the name of SaiRookwood posted on Reddit (seen by GamingSym) about the study they helped with the support of the University of Exeter and Truro College. The study was designed to find out if a high -budget game like Red Dead Redemption 2 could be educational, specifically looking at whether immersion in the detailed environment of RDR2 could help people learn more about the real -world wildlife depicted.

The team surveyed that 586 participants took part in 55 countries, of which 444 of them had played Red Dead Redemption 2 and most were young people between the ages of 18 and 34. Those tested were asked to identify 15 animals from actual photos – all featured in Red Dead – and were asked to name them, with multiple options available for those unable to do so.

Those who have played RDR2 on average can identify 10 out of 15 animals-at least three more than those who have not played the game. According to SaiRookwood, those who have played RDR2 recently got higher scores in tests – and those who have played the role of ‘Naturalist’ in Red Dead Online, which requires players to learn animals without killing them, got the best.

SaiRookwood noted that, of course, the team doesn’t recommend that players under 18 play Red Dead Redemption 2 – but believes studies show that immersion in a game environment, where “people’s actions have meaning”, can be more valuable than just learning a list of animals with memorization “. The full study, titled ‘The value of virtual ecology education in Red Dead Redemption 2’, can be found here.

Of course it’s nice to hear that games can have a positive educational influence. Another good example of learning about the environment through play is Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed series, with the upcoming Valhalla Discovery Tour seemingly the most immersive experience – and the results have been positively received.

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