Date of Award

January 2014

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

F. Richard Ferraro


The popularity of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) has resulted in the need to determine who is suitable to learn to operate UAVs. The present study examined the likelihood that action video game players (VGPs) would make better potential candidates for learning to become UAV pilots. Additional training is also examined as a factor to determine how well training assists with maintaining situational awareness and vigilance during performance of the task, which are beneficial skills for UAV pilots to possess. Ninety-two undergraduate students participated in the study, and piloting skills were tested using the Multi-Attribute Task Battery-II, which consists of generalizations of piloting tasks. VGPs had superior performance on many of the tasks compared to non-video game players, and individuals that received training performed better than those that did not receive training. These findings indicate that VGPs may make a potential candidate group for UAV pilots without needing previous pilot experience.