Virtual environments are synthetic 3D worlds typically viewed from a first-person point of view with many potential applications within areas such as visualisation, entertainment and training simulators. To effectively develop and utilise virtual environments, user-centric evaluations are commonly performed. Anecdotal evidence suggests that factors such as prior experience with computer games may affect the results of such evaluations. This paper examines the effects of previous computer gaming experience, user perceived gaming ability and actual gaming performance on navigation tasks in a virtual environment. Two computer games and a virtual environment were developed to elicit performance metrics for use within a user study. Results indicated that perceived gaming skill and progress in a First-Person-Shooter (FPS) game were the most consistent metrics showing significant correlations with performance in time-based navigation tasks. There was also strong evidence that these relations were significantly intensified by the inclusion of participants who play FPS games. In addition, it was found that increased gaming experience decreased spatial perception performance.\u
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