Gaming Experience and Spatial Learning in a Virtual Morris Water Maze


  • Suzanne de Castell University of Ontario Institute of Technolgoy
  • Jennifer Jenson York University
  • Hector Larios SFU School of Interactive Arts + Technology



video games, gaming experience, virtual worlds, sex differences, spatial abilities, navigation strategies


Experience playing video games has been associated with perceptual and cognitive improvements (e.g., Castel, Pratt, & Drummond, 2005; Boot, Kramer, Simons, Fabiani, & Gratton, 2008; Colzato, van den Wildenberg, & Hommel, 2013; Oei & Patterson, 2013) For instance, video gamers show superior spatial abilities than non-gamers (Greenfield, Graig, & Lohr, 1994; Feng, Spence, and Pratt, 2007; Green & Bavelier, 2003). Given that such abilities have been associated with educational and vocational success in STEM fields (Wai, Lubinski, & Benbow, 2009), it is important to understand the relationship between them and video game experience. In past research, virtual versions of the Morris Water Maze (VMWM) have been used to investigate spatial learning in non-human subjects. Yet, the extent of VMWM

Author Biographies

  • Suzanne de Castell, University of Ontario Institute of Technolgoy

    Suzanne de Castell is Professor and Dean, Faculty of Education, University of Ontario Institute of Technology. She has published widely and for nearly 35 years on most things educational.

  • Jennifer Jenson, York University

    Jennifer Jenson is Professor of Pedagogy and Technology in the Faculty of Education at York University. Her research and writing is on games and education, gender and gameplay and technology policy.

  • Hector Larios, SFU School of Interactive Arts + Technology

    Hector Larios is a researcher in the School of Interactive Arts and Technology. His area of research is spatial cognition and virtual worlds.






Peer Reviewed Research Papers