Suitable for all ages : game design for the 60+ demographic

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Although digital games have the potential to improve the social, mental and physical well-being of elderly people, little is known about the problems seniors face in adopting, using and enjoying digital games. The presenters in this panel discuss the challenge of designing games for an elderly audience. The session starts with a brief summary of the physical, social, psychological and cognitive context of elderly users. Next, the potential adopters are discussed; an empirical test of a game acceptance model for elderly users reveals the most important influence factors for the acceptance of games among the elderly. Afterwards, existing users of games among seniors are discussed; the playing habits and preferences of senior gamers are explored by means of an internet survey and semi-structured interviews. After discussing both adopters and users, the focus of the panel shifts towards the usability, likeability and content requirements of digital games with regards to the 60+ demographic. The needs and motivations of elderly gamers are analysed using contextual inquiries and focus group interviews. Furthermore, the panel assesses the commercial brain games (such as Dr. Kawashimas Brain Training for Nintendo DS) that are often targeted towards an ageing audience. Finally, theory is put to practice during the presentation of the e-Treasure research project, in which a serious game was developed using user-centred design methods in order to foster intergenerational play and facilitate the exchange of knowledge between grandparents and grandchildren. In conclusion, the session outlines various design recommendations which are vital to designing meaningful play experiences for an older audience.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the Meaningful Play 2008 Conference, October 9-11, 2008, East Lansing, Michigan, USA
Place of PublicationEast Lansing, Michigan, USA
PublisherMichigan State University
Publication statusPublished - 2008
Eventconference; Meaningful Play 2008; 2008-10-09; 2008-10-11 -
Duration: 9 Oct 200811 Oct 2008


Conferenceconference; Meaningful Play 2008; 2008-10-09; 2008-10-11
OtherMeaningful Play 2008

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