Current Research: Immersive Virtual Worlds

This project is composed of a number of smaller studies focused on the popular on-line video game World of Warcraft (WoW).

WoW provides a persistent fantasy social environment in which participants have the opportunity to interact with other people in a virtual world. World of Warcraft is by far the most popular Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing games (MMORPG or MMO for short) ever developed, boasting over 10 million subscriptions worldwide.

WoW provides an extremely deep virtual world filled with towns, cities, an in-game economy (auction house), postal service, and trade skill system to name a few features. It is quite possible to play for years and still discover something “new” about the game. Unlike the video games used in many of previous studies, playing WoW relies upon the simultaneous use of multiple cognitive abilities and does so within a dynamic social environment.

Current WoW related research projects include:

(1)   Task analysis of novice and expert players
(2)   Pilot study to improve older adults cognition through playing WoW