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Top 6: April 27th 2022

Deutsche Telekom: Sea Hero Quest Virtual Reality - Walkthrough

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Top 6: April 27th 2022
The Sea Hero Quest game created by Deutsche Telekom in partnership with Saatchi & Saatchi has helped researchers at UCL, University of Lyon and the University of East Anglia (UEA). A study, published in Nature, involved nearly 400,000 participants from 38 countries who played the Sea Hero Quest mobile game, a citizen science venture designed for neuroscience research requiring them to navigate a boat through a virtual environment to find checkpoints shown on a map. It was created by Deutsche Telekom in partnership with Alzheimer’s Research UK, UCL, UEA, Saatchi & Saatchi and game developers Glitchers. Researchers from the three universities analysed data that the game has gleaned from how users completed the navigation task, and found that people’s performance in the game is influenced by where they grew up, after controlling for confounding effects of age, gender and education levels, while where they currently live does not affect their scores. The study shows that those who grew up in rural or suburban areas have better spatial navigation skills than those raised in cities, particularly cities with grid-pattern streets typically seen in North America. It also revealed that people from home cities with grid layouts are slightly better at navigating similarly organised street patterns despite having poorer performance overall, showing that early childhood environments influence both navigation ability navigation styles. Originally launched in 2016, Sea Hero Quest is a multi-level adventure mobile game which sees players take on the role of a sea explorer’s son traversing the seas, looking for and collecting the lost pieces of their father’s ocean journal. On their journey, players need to find and photograph weird and wonderful sea creatures. The Sea Hero Quest project was designed to aid Alzheimer’s research, by shedding light on differences in spatial navigational abilities. Over four million people have played the game to date, contributing to numerous studies across the project since its launch.

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