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... In this way, it can link people from different generations, bridging the gap among them. Research indicates that social interaction and entertainment are among the main motivating factors for older adults to play video games [16][17][18]. Specifically, players enjoy interacting with others, watching others playing, and talking about the game [19][20][21]. Digital technology, which is ubiquitous in the lives of younger and adult people, has been investigated as a tool to connect generations, including those of advanced age [2]. ...
... This correlation can be explained by the basic human need for control, according to the fundamental interpersonal relationship orientation theory [41]: competition with others or trying to control each other is an essential part of interpersonal dynamics [38]. Nevertheless, in contrast to younger players, older players find competition in playing a minor motivator [16,18,22,27], unless there is indirect competition against other teams [42]. In addition, older players have been found to largely reject reflex-oriented games such as fighting or racing games. ...
... This result is in line with related research showing a positive relationship between social and competition motives [39,40]. This seemingly contradicts previous results showing that older adults (in contrast to younger players) would find competition in playing a minor motivator [16,18,22,27]. This can be explained by the unthreatening but still exciting and humorous character of the specific game Myosotis FoodPlanet used here. ...
Article
Background: Maintaining social relationships is a basic human need and particularly essential in old age, including when living in a retirement home. Multiplayer video games can promote positive social interactions among players from different generations while playing. Yet, such facilitation of positive social interactions depends on specific game design. To systematically investigate the effects of game design on social interaction between seniors and their coplayers, the game Myosotis FoodPlanet was developed in this study, and the impacts of 3 different game modes on social interaction were compared in a controlled field trial. Objective: This study aims to compare the effects of 3 different game modes (competitive, cooperative, and creative) on social interactions (verbal and nonverbal communication) between seniors and their younger coplayers. Methods: This study was conducted in a Swiss retirement home as a controlled field trial. Participants were residents of the retirement home (N=10; mean age 84.8 years, SD 5.9 years) and played in pairs with their caregivers. Each pair played 3 game modes in random order. This resulted in 30 game sequences of 20 minutes each. A within-subject design was applied with game mode as the within-factor and social interaction as the outcome variable. To assess the quality of social interaction, 30 video-recorded game sequences were analyzed based on an event sampling method. Results: Analysis of variance for repeated measurements revealed significant effects: there was significantly more verbal communication in the creative mode than in the cooperative mode (P=.04) with a strong effect size (Cohen f=0.611). An examination of verbal communication revealed more game-related communication in the creative mode than in the cooperative mode (P=.01) and the competitive mode (P=.09) with marginally significant effects and strong effect sizes (Cohen f=0.841). In addition, significantly more biography-related communication occurred in the creative mode than in the cooperative mode (P=.03), with a strong effect size (r=0.707). Regarding nonverbal communication (eg, laughing together), analysis of variance for repeated measurements showed significant differences among the game modes (P=.02) with a strong effect size (Cohen f=0.758). Results showed that there was significantly more laughing together in the competitive mode (competitive>cooperative>creative). Conclusions: The results show that game mode can be an important factor for shaping the social interactions of players playing together. Compared with other modes, creative game modes can increase verbal communication. In contrast, competitive modes may stimulate more laughing together. This has important implications for game design and the use of computer games to promote social interaction between seniors and their coplayers in practice.
... The player who has matched the most pairs wins (Zwick & Paterson, 1993). The well-known game concept of Matching Pairs facilitates the target group's entry into the unfamiliar field of digital therapy support (McNaney et al., 2015;Nap et al., 2009). ...
... Obstacles identified in the interviews of the requirements analysis were a possible scepticism of the patients towards the new technical application, which should be overcome by using a familiar casual game concept (Nap et al., 2009) and an appealing theme (Othlinghaus et al., 2011). As requested in the interview, the focus is diverted from the (motor) competition in order to avoid demotivation and overexertion. ...
Conference Paper
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One of the most common neurodegenerative disorders that affects more and more people at an advanced age is Parkinson’s disease. Patients suffer from various symptoms and especially the motor restrictions and psychological symptoms worsen the quality of life of the affected persons. The physical therapy for this disease to improve motor performance and complementary exercises is characterised by repetitive training and patients often suffer from a strong exhaustion and lack of motivation due to their disease. To address these problems, a serious game concept for Parkinson's therapy was developed. The concept was created using the Design Thinking methodology for a user-centred design. The final result is the concept and prototype of a competitive multiplayer exergame that was developed to increase the motivation of the patients to participate through social play and the idea of competition in order to support the motor therapy of Parkinson’s disease patients.
... Age-related changes in perceptions, motor control abilities, and lifetime experiences are likely to contribute to unique play habits and experiences across age (De Schutter and Malliet, 2014;Nap et al., 2009). A handful of initial efforts in this direction found that different developmental stages have been associated with varying gaming preferences and play patterns (Birk et al., 2017;De Schutter, 2011). ...
... Older players have also generally been overlooked by the gaming industry (Osmanovic and Pecchioni, 2016). Most digital games on the market target a younger audience, and their content resonates less with older adults (Nap et al., 2009;Paaßen et al., 2017). For example, 89% of League of Legends players are below 35 years old, with fewer than 1% of players over 40 (Statista, 2019). ...
Article
The need satisfaction and psychological benefits derived from gameplay are generally understudied for older video game players. This study connects the Self-Determination Theory, Motivational Theory of Life-Span Development, and Socioemotional Selectivity Theory to understand players’ in-game behaviors and their corresponding need satisfaction from a developmental perspective. Survey data from 1213 randomly sampled World of Tanks players were combined with their behavioral data to investigate how players’ behaviors and their corresponding need satisfaction differ or converge across age. Age and in-game behaviors were tested as moderators for the relationship between perceived need satisfaction and psychological well-being. The results showed that despite underperforming and having fewer in-game connections, older players reported no significant difference in their perceived competence and relatedness than younger players. Perceived competence and relatedness contributed to psychological well-being for both older and younger players, although it carried more weight for the younger. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.
... In contrast to previous work, we consider people who are older than 75 in our study. The minimum age at which participants were considered as older adults in previous research ranges from 45 [100, 313] to 50 [172] or 65 years [55,243,293]. Thus, our population can be seen as underrepresented in previous research, although the benefits of gamified systems could be particularly relevant for this target group: Playing digital games has been shown to be associated with successful aging [222] and using gamification for behavior change could help older adults to remain physically, cognitively and socially active [133], which has positive effects on health and well-being [195]. ...
Thesis
Gamification, the use of game elements in non-game contexts, has been shown to help people reaching their goals, affect people's behavior and enhance the users' experience within interactive systems. However, past research has shown that gamification is not always successful. In fact, literature reviews revealed that almost half of the interventions were only partially successful or even unsuccessful. Therefore, understanding the factors that have an influence on psychological measures and behavioral outcomes of gamified systems is much in need. In this thesis, we contribute to this by considering the context in which gamified systems are applied and by understanding personal factors of users interacting with the system. Guided by Self-Determination Theory, a major theory on human motivation, we investigate gamification and its effects on motivation and behavior in behavior change contexts, provide insights on contextual factors, contribute knowledge on the effect of personal factors on both the perception and effectiveness of gamification elements and lay out ways of utilizing this knowledge to implement personalized gamified systems. Our contribution is manifold: We show that gamification affects motivation through need satisfaction and by evoking positive affective experiences, ultimately leading to changes in people's behavior. Moreover, we show that age, the intention to change behavior, and Hexad user types play an important role in explaining interpersonal differences in the perception of gamification elements and that tailoring gamified systems based on these personal factors has beneficial effects on both psychological and behavioral outcomes. Lastly, we show that Hexad user types can be partially predicted by smartphone data and interaction behavior in gamified systems and that they can be assessed in a gameful way, allowing to utilize our findings in gamification practice. Finally, we propose a conceptual framework to increase motivation in gamified systems, which builds upon our findings and outlines the importance of considering both contextual and personal factors. Based on these contributions, this thesis advances the field of gamification by contributing knowledge to the open questions of how and why gamification works and which factors play a role in this regard.
... Correspondingly, academic research on the topic of games and aging has slowly increased as well. However, research that has analyzed older players of digital games has mainly focused on how older adults are playing games at the time during which the study was held (e.g., De Schutter, 2011;Nap, de Kort, & IJsselsteijn, 2009;Pearce, 2008;Skalsky Brown, 2014). Nonetheless, it has been well established within both gerontology (Elder, 1994) and developmental psychology (Baltes, 1987) that the analysis of later stages of human life should be evaluated through the lens of the entire life course, as opposed to only an individual's current status. ...
Chapter
Play is a lifelong construct that is individually defined and is influenced by multiple variables that affect how play is interpreted and experienced in old age. This chapter highlights the significance of using a life course perspective to explore how play is shaped and reflected through digital gameplay and preferences as a game player ages. Using grounded theory methodology, 51 participants (age 43–77) were interviewed individually. The resulting transcripts were coded to identify emergent themes. The findings demonstrate 1) how play changes throughout the lifespan, 2) how play preferences established in childhood influence digital gameplay for aging adults, and 3) how aging adult gamers aspire to continue gaming as they grow older. Collectively, these themes provide insight into the aspects that need to be taken into account when designing games for aging gamer populations.
... For an offline version of the game (Windows and macOS), as well as a video showing gameplay, please refer to the supplementary files. The design of Pocket Odyssey is based on a popular type of mobile game (Section 2) and it was created to provide cognitive training for older adults, following guidelines regarding theme and complexity in line with this target audience [19,30,41]. ...
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Validation of serious games tends to focus on evaluating their design as a whole. While this helps to assess whether a particular combination of game mechanics is successful, it provides little insight into how individual mechanics contribute or detract from a serious game's purpose or a player's game experience. This study analyses the effect of game mechanics commonly used in casual games for engagement, measured as a combination of player behaviour and reported game experience. Secondly, it examines the role of a serious game's purpose on those same measures. An experimental study was conducted with 204 participants playing several versions of a serious game to explore these points. The results show that adding additional game mechanics to a core gameplay loop did not lead to participants playing more or longer, nor did it improve their game experience. Players who were aware of the game's purpose, however, perceived the game as more beneficial, scored their game experience higher, and progressed further. The results show that game mechanics on their own do not necessarily improve engagement, while the effect of perceived value deserves further study.
... In relation to serious games or exergames for older adults, research suggests that competitiveness peaks around the age of 50, and then steadily declines (Mayr et al. 2012). Indeed, Gajadhar et al. (2010) found that the interaction of older adults engaged in coactive activities is centered more on helping and supporting each other, in contrast to younger participants who tend to favor competition (Gajadhar et al. 2008), suggesting that games for older adults should refrain from competition altogether, to increase enjoyment and obviate a fear of failure (Nap et al. 2009;Gajadhar et al. 2010). ...
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Virtual reality (VR)-based rehabilitation is a growing technological field, which gradually becomes integrated into existing programs. However, technology has to support human behavior and -needs, including social relatedness, to achieve health-related outcomes. Elderly people have high risk of loneliness, and VR has technological affinity for natural social interaction. Previous studies have relied on competitiveness rather than collaborative elements, but research shows that competitiveness can lead to (feelings of) stress and aggressive behavior in some individuals. This article presents a mixed methods study to gather end-user feedback on a social VR scenario that encourages inter-player collaboration on a virtual tandem bike. Outpatients (n=11), 64% males, (60±11) years) were invited to participate with a co-player (friend or family). Participants biked on average 10.7 (± 3) minutes with a mean speed of 14.8 kmph (± 5.8). The results indicate potential and feasibility for the collaborative social biking application. Participants reported excellent usability-scores (85 ± 5), high intrinsic motivation in all categories: enjoyment (6.5 ± 0.5), effort/importance (6.4 ± 0.3), relatedness (6.3 ± 0.7) and minimal increase in symptoms of nausea, oculomotor and disorientation. Furthermore, participants found the social aspect enjoyable, agreed that collaboration eased tasks and that they lost track of exercise duration. Interpersonal interaction between participants varied, but was mostly positively rated valence, even if the sense of copresence was limited by physical constraints and avatar representation. Most participants expressed that they would use the program again, but future studies should explore how to improve location and appearance of the virtual coactor, as well as implement additional tasks.
... The results show that intergenerational video/internet gaming is motivated by several factors, namely age, education, family ties, fun, relaxation, diversion, enjoyment, fantasy, imaginative immersion, social interaction, socialisation and intergenerational connectedness including challenge. Indeed, these constitute a barricade of social needs at the individual level and their inherent motivations as noted by other studies (e.g., De Schutter, 2011;Nap et al., 2009). Nap et al. (2009, p. 261), for example, observed that in the Netherlands, older people's main motivations to play games were fun and relaxation, and that "important underlying motivations were to escape from reality, to stay in touch with society, and to give meaning to the day." ...
Article
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Most of the so-called “witch camps” in northern Ghana have existed for more than a hundred years, and their founding stories are often conveyed in mythologies and historical narratives. Until the 1990s, discourses about the management of these settlements had largely been confined to the local, traditional sphere and rarely appeared in national and international newspapers and documentaries. The post-1990 globalised development and democratisation regime in Ghana has seen the emergence of a new kind of discourse or narrative around these settlements. While a gendered notion of (in)equality is looming large in contemporary development corridors, empowerment and human rights narratives appear to be topical and overbearing the agenda of the state. Non-governmental organisations (NGOs), civil society actors and the media that work with these “camps” often approach them with sentimentalist, euro-modernist assumptions. This article seeks to interrogate the seemingly complex rights-inspired narratives that often circumscribe a particular identity and reality for these local settlements. Relying on empirical data collected from qualitative interviews in northern Ghana, the article draws on Gramsci’s ideas of hegemony and domination and Agamben’s notion of the “camp” and “bare life” to argue for a reconsideration of the somewhat misplaced term, “camp”, to reflect the prevailing local discourse and meaning.
Chapter
The long-term implications of COVID-19 for wellbeing are predicted to be both significant and enduring. Data from previous epidemics indicates long-term detrimental effects are more pronounced among particular demographics, including individuals with pre-existing mental health conditions. The Mental Health Independent Support Team (MhIST) is a charitable organisation offering a range of free-at-the-point-of-contact services via self-referral for a range of mental health and wellbeing concerns, both with and without diagnosis. Since March 2020, the organisation noted significant rises in demand for services. Serious games and their active involvement in eliciting rapid positive behavioural change is associated with their emergence as a key learning tool, with effects transferable to the real world. While a growing number of gamified interventions exist for a range of mental health diagnoses, their presence in the domain of positive psychology is more limited. The chapter reports two studies conducted to enhance the development of an educational game for adult wellbeing.
Chapter
Physical activity plays a fundamental role in contrasting physiological deconditioning during ageing. Considering the complexity of the modifications that can occur in the physical activity domain, international guidelines recommend that older adults engage in a combination of aerobic, strength, flexibility, and balance training to promote active ageing and maintain adequate health status. For this reason, virtual coaches must be designed to prescribe appropriate physical activity plans in each of the specific target sub-domain. Technological solutions based on wearable devices and digital games are promising can be the key to a successful system. This chapter describes the physiological bases and the technological approaches implemented by the NESTORE system to evaluate users’ functional abilities and to propose a comprehensive and individualised coaching plan in the physical activity domain according to the internationally recognised guidelines. The main technological NESTORE components, co-designed together with users to monitor their status and behaviour and coach them to perform effective physical activity, are (i) the NESTORE wristband that will assess the users’ performances and monitor the main physiological parameters during aerobic activity and (ii) the NESTORE Pocket Odyssey mobile game that will engage the users during physical activities in the strength, flexibility and balance domains.
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This article reviews existing literature on older adults’ interactions with computers and the Internet, and proposes questions and directions for future gerontechnology research. The first section of this paper briefly reviews existing human factors research on older adults’ interactions with computers and the Internet. The next two sections review research on barriers to and aids of older adults’ learning and use of computers and the Internet, and older adults’ attitudes toward, perceptions, and general usage of computers and the Internet, respectively. The fourth section summarizes available research on older adults’ interactions in computerized community networks. Finally, based on existing literature on this topic and informed by general theories of the interdisciplinary field of science and technology studies (STS), the fifth section proposes new questions and directions for future gerontechnology research.
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Book
Part I: concepts, theory and methods in the psychology of aging --History of geropsychology --Structural equation modelling in longitudianl research on aging --longitudinal studies in aging research --methodological issues in behavioral intervention researchwith the elderly --the genetics of behavioral aging Part II: biological and social influences on behavior --aging and the human nervous system --age-related cognitive change and brain behavior relationships --health risk behaviors and aging --environmental influences on aging and behavior Part III: behavioral processes and psychological functions --changes in vision and hearing with aging --understanding the role of attentionin cognitive aging research --speed and timing of behavioral processes --age-related declines in motor control --aging and memory: cognitive and biological perpectives --lannguage production and comprehension --emotion over the life span --social relations: a examination of social networks, socila support, and sense of control --gender and aging: gender differences and gender roles --personality and aging: flourishing agendas and future challenges --wisdom and creativity --mental health and aging at the outset of the twenty-first century Part IV: behavior in social context --technological changes and the older worker --elder abuse and victimization --quality of life and the end of life
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Abstract Based on previous ,research finding positive effects of video ,game ,use on the ,cognitive and neuro-motor skills of the elderly, researchers investigated the appeal and interest of video games among,this population. Four focus groups were conducted with a total of eleven participants between,the ages of 66 and 79 years of age. Participants were asked to play ,an assortment ,of video games while their reactions and responses were noted. The majority ofparticipants showed ahigh,degree of interest in technology. While appeal of the selected video games varied greatly