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Competitive action video game players display rightward error bias during on-line video game play

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Research in asymmetrical visuospatial attention has identified a leftward bias in the general population across a variety of measures including visual attention and line-bisection tasks. In addition, increases in rightward collisions, or bumping, during visuospatial navigation tasks have been demonstrated in real world and virtual environments. However, little research has investigated these biases beyond the laboratory. The present study uses a semi-naturalistic approach and the online video game streaming service Twitch to examine navigational errors and assaults as skilled action video game players (n = 60) compete in Counter Strike: Global Offensive. This study showed a significant rightward bias in both fatal assaults and navigational errors. Analysis using the in-game ranking system as a measure of skill failed to show a relationship between bias and skill. These results suggest that a leftward visuospatial bias may exist in skilled players during online video game play. However, the present study was unable to account for some factors such as environmental symmetry and player handedness. In conclusion, video game streaming is a promising method for behavioural research in the future, however further study is required before one can determine whether these results are an artefact of the method applied, or representative of a genuine rightward bias.
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Keywords: Lateralization; behavioural asymmetry; navigational bias; visuospatial attention

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Physiology, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Canada 2: Department of Psychology, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK, Canada 3: Department of Computer Science, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK, Canada

Publication date: September 3, 2018

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