Red Dead Redemption 2 helps people learn about animals when not shooting them

Anyone who’s played Red Dead Redemption 2 is aware of the ridiculous level of attention to detail in the world, but now a new study has shown that Rockstar’s Western can be used for educational purposes – specifically, to teach people about animals and wild nature.

A Biology teacher from Cornwall, UK, going by the name SaiRookwood posted on Reddit (spotted by GamingSym) about a study they assisted on with the backing of the University of Exeter and Truro College. The study was designed to find out if high-budget games such as Red Dead Redemption 2 could be educational, specifically seeing if immersion in RDR2’s detailed environments could help people learn more about the real-world wildlife portrayed.

The team drew up a survey that 586 participants took part in across 55 countries, out of which 444 had played Red Dead Redemption 2 and most were young people between the ages of 18 and 34. Those tested were asked to identify 15 animals from real photographs – all featured in Red Dead – and asked to name them, with multiple-choice provided for those unable to.

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