Handheld games: Can virtual pets make a difference?

Yueh Feng Lily Tsai, David Kaufman

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Children who care for real pet animals have shown higher levels of empathy and positive attitudes toward the humane treatment of animals. However, only a limited number of studies have examined whether caring for a virtual pet would have similar associations. This study investigated the question of whether a handheld virtual pet videogame can improve children's empathy and humane attitudes. The results showed that after playing Nintendogs® for three weeks, participants showed higher levels of empathy on the Bryant Empathy Index, and had higher levels of humane attitudes on the Intermediate Attitude Scale, compared to their scores before they played.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEducational Gameplay and Simulation Environments
Subtitle of host publicationCase Studies and Lessons Learned
PublisherIGI Global
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)9781615207312
StatePublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes


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