Aptitude for simulator based excavator operator training due to video game playing experience
Timothy Brian McClure, Purdue University, United States
M.S.C.E., Purdue University . Awarded
Across all industries, the expense of training individuals in the operation of the required equipment directly affects the profitability of the company. The construction industry is now trending into the realm of virtual reality (VR)-based simulators, a new cost-cutting, safer technology for training equipment operators. With increasing fuel costs and the continued advancement in computer technology, simulators are a logical progression for training. There are multiple commercial sources for construction simulators including at least four major equipment manufacturers. The effectiveness of any simulator depends on how well the trainee is prepared to complete the real task, or how well the skills transfer from the simulator to the real task. Rather than look at the effectiveness of simulators for inculcating skills that transfer to real life situations, this research explores the following question: Does experience with playing video games create an existing skill set that facilitates a person's aptitude for performing effectively on the simulator? Two groups of subjects, one that avidly plays video games and one that does not, were utilized in an experiment in this research to address this question. The subjects performed a variety of tasks on a construction excavator simulator, and the group who avidly played video games demonstrated superior perceptual-motor skill as evidenced by significantly better performance on the simulator training tasks. These results led to the conclusion that those who avidly play video games do have better initial ability on the construction excavator simulator than those who do not play video games.
McClure, T.B. Aptitude for simulator based excavator operator training due to video game playing experience. M.S.C.E. thesis, Purdue University.
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