Date of Award
Master of Science (MS) in Geographic Information Science & Technology
Chemistry & Geosciences
This thesis examines how physical geographic features affect individuals when interacting with video game environments. There are very few studies on the geography of video games. I aim to bridge the gap between game studies and geography, a naturally occurring link. The observation of elements such as the geography of an area is critical when exploring an individual’s perception of a video game environment. Individuals interact with the geography of their location on a day-to-day basis, whether it be physical or human geography; how they can relate a video game’s geography to the real world dramatically affects their immersion. An individual’s perception of an area’s geography can be affected by the physical landscape around them and their past experiences. These past experiences can be human interactions, such as facing an area's culture or interacting with people and the geographic region, such as the area's topography. When interacting with a video game environment, none of these factors are physical in nature. However, they are still meaningful affectual virtual experiences that can change users' understanding of their role in the virtual world and their connection to the physical landscape. Even though these factors are virtual, many are immersed in these environments. My research aims to discover how this phenomenon affects individuals by examining how geography in a virtual environment affects individuals in both the environment itself and the physical realm.