Designing for collaboration: a study in intergenerational social game design

Long Paper

Abstract

This paper presents a study of a computer game designed for the elderly, allowing them to train their memory while playing the game. The game supports both a single-player and a multiplayer mode, in which the elderly can play with their friends or family using an embedded video chat application. The main question that is addressed in this paper is how the elderly gamers’ experience is influenced by the possibility to communicate directly with the other players. The study presents a comparison of the game experience and appreciation of older users and their (grand)children playing the game together, with or without the video chat application. Most importantly, the study shows that the added value of video chat is not limited to social contact, but that it also provides opportunities for the younger generation to assist the elderly during the game. In conclusion, the paper points out some intergenerational game design implications, and some future research suggestions.

Keywords

Intergenerational communication Elderly Game design Game evaluation 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.IBBT-K.U.Leuven Future Health Department, Centre for User Experience Research (CUO)LeuvenBelgium

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