Grand theft auto(mation): Travel mode habits and video games

Ryan Lange, Nicholas David Bowman, Jaime Banks, Amanda Lange

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


A growing area of video game research considers factors external to games that might predict both observed in-game and physical world decisions. One factor may be an individual's habitual behaviors, such as their physical activity routines. Because the authors tend to automate behaviors that they repeat in stable circumstances or contexts, virtual re-creations of those stimuli should prompt the same behavior in the game environment. Moreover, as virtual worlds become more similar to the physical world, behaviors the authors learn in physical reality might influence virtual behaviors. The authors ask two research questions: (RQ1) Is there an association between real-world habits and in-game decisions? (RQ2) Does the nature of the ingame task influence any relationship between real-world habits and in-game decisions? A quasi-experiment of 110 students at a large, mid-Atlantic university demonstrated that physical activity routines bias in-game transportation decisions, particularly when prompted to pursue a specific goal over a free exploration task.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)35-50
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Technology and Human Interaction
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Decision-making
  • Habits
  • Physical activity
  • Video games
  • Virtual worlds

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems
  • Human-Computer Interaction


Dive into the research topics of 'Grand theft auto(mation): Travel mode habits and video games'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this