• Sat. Mar 2nd, 2024

Red Dead Redemption 2 has some unexpected edutainment value, according to academics


Jul 11, 2021

Red Dead Redemption 2 was one of the most highly-detailed games that year when it first came out in 2018, with extensively interacting systems—including realistic animal behaviour. While some critics asked if that experience was worth the human cost of “death march” crunch needed to develop it, it had an additional surprising outcome. According to a paper published for the ‘People and Nature’ journal, players who had played either Red Dead Redemption 2 or Red Dead Online were better at identifying real life animals than those who hadn’t.

The study asked over 500 self-selected gamers to name specific animals, first with a blank text field and then with a multiple choice. The researchers left out “charismatic megafauna” like wolves or bears, opting for creatures like the little egret, and the steelhead trout—these animals being ones that appear in the games.

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