The Gods Play Dice Together: The Influence of Social Elements of Gamification on Seniors’ User Experience
Due to increasing technologization and demographic changes, more and more elderly people are facing the challenge to use internet-based services for information and communication (ICT). In order to reduce frustrating experiences with ICT, such as feelings of helplessness and fear as well as motivational barriers, gamification and serious games are a promising approach. However, we assume that, when designing gamified applications for senior citizens, social aspects play an important role. Our research question aimed at comparing subjective enjoyment and motivational effects by providing different sociable gameplay conditions.
In a laboratory experiment 18 pairs of seniors from 58–85 years of age played an online version of the dice game “Yahtzee”. Each participant worked in a separate room. The pairs were assigned to one of the following social modalities: (1) isolated condition with no interaction at all, (2) shared screen-condition and playing the game against each other knowingly, or (3) shared screen-condition plus video and audio feedback between both participants. By using a set of questionnaires we measured perceived attractiveness, emotional enjoyment, and motivation during the game as well as after the experiment.
Repeated measures during the experiment show that social aspects significantly enhance positive feelings and the willingness to maintain the gaming task.
KeywordsGamification Serious games Elderly people Social interaction Motivation Emotion
We would like to thank Assiel Afram and Franziska Trauzettel for their work on the studies.
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