Games for Health pp 219-232

A Taxonomy of Serious Games for Dementia

  • Simon McCallum
  • Costas Boletsis
Conference paper

DOI: 10.1007/978-3-658-02897-8_17

Cite this paper as:
McCallum S., Boletsis C. (2013) A Taxonomy of Serious Games for Dementia. In: Schouten B., Fedtke S., Bekker T., Schijven M., Gekker A. (eds) Games for Health. Springer Vieweg, Wiesbaden


Serious games for dementia (SG4D) hold their own, unique and significant space within the Games for Health domain. However, the SG4D field still has not been fully mapped out and classified. In this work, we present a generic taxonomy of serious games for dementia, based on the health functions and the health purposes they serve. Firstly, we classify dementia games based on the health function they serve, in: cognitive, physical and social-emotional games. Each of these functions serves a variety of health purposes, leading us to a second, lower level of classification in: preventative, rehabilitative, assessing and educative games. Furthermore, we provide an ex-post evaluation of the proposed taxonomy by exploring whether the existing serious games for dementia can be validly classified, based on the proposed taxonomic characters. To this end, we collect and analyse a set of dementia-related serious games (e.g. WiiSports, Big Brain Academy, Cognifit, MinWii, et al.) by performing a literature review. The results show that the taxonomical system covers a sub-field of “games for health” and indicates areas which are under-explored by current games.

Alzheimer’s disease; dementia; mild cognitive impairment; serious games; taxonomy; 

Copyright information

© Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Simon McCallum
    • 1
  • Costas Boletsis
    • 1
  1. 1.Gjøvik University CollegeGjøvikNorway

Personalised recommendations