Designing Gaming for the Elderly
With the emergence of natural user interfaces (NUI) technologies, the way humans think about using computers has changed. Computer games now have a new dimension, allowing players to interact via body movment. Off-the-shelf games tools are affordable, accessible, easy to use and install. Many studies have shown the effectiveness of modern game technologies in health and rehabilitation contexts (Mauro, 2011). These devices can be used in home settings by older adults to motivate them to keep exercising.
This project evaluated new ways of motivating older adults to move and perform exercises. For gaming to work with older adults, the perceived affordance, or opportunity for action, of the game needs to give the player a meaningful indication about what actions are possible, and what they should do next. This project focused on how to design games that adapts to individual player’s affordances, where the level of difficulty of each level in the game was able to accommodate to an individual's physical abilities. The research also investigated usability issues associated with designing digital games for older adults as they have different preferences, interests and mental models about computer games. In addition, their physical abilities are typically not the same, where they might have poorer visual acuity, auditory acuity, cognition, and slower reactions.
This project also investigated how player performance could be analysed when playing Kinect games. This analysis aimed to develop an algorithm that measures each player performance according to his/her own best values. This allows people of mixed abilities to play together. The project also established a comprehensive set of heuristics that forms a basis for developers and designers to create movement-based games for older adults.Return to Top