Audiences and Experiences: Week 7 Reading

Elderly people, video games and accessibility - When old, I will (still) be a gamer, Dupire, Jérôme & Sponselee, Anne-mie

There is a lot of work still to do to make games accessible to older generations. Serious games for elderly people are great, but I do not think enough is being done to make every day games accessible to elderly folk. I know quite a few people, two of my Grandparents included do not like playing games at all. But my someone else I know loves playing Civ V and Train Simulator because those are two of his interests. Another elderly person I know loves playing Formula 1 games, and even has a setup with a yoke steering wheel and pedals to really feel like he's in the game.

They say a lot about the content, and the general design in games for elderly people but I think the main emphasis should be on accessibility.

Video Games and Other Online Activities May Improve Health in Ageing, Kyriazis, M., & Kiourti, E

Previously to studying games, I knew that some games could help players to gain cognitive advantages depending on the game played but I had not thought about how for Elderly people, it is not to gain skills but rather maintain the skills they already have and I can think of many times this would be beneficial. I think it is important for people to remember that games aren't just a waste of time or for no reason at all.

Take VR Chat for example, that is a great example of how a game can be socially encouraging or can help bring a player out of social isolation as it is direct interaction with many other people. Compare this to Facebook for example, which can be isolating to everyone, not just elderly people.

I thought this paper was a really interesting read and highlights how games can be beneficial to elderly people and how the right game could be wildly beneficial to a old person's health compared to say browsing Facebook or Reddit for ages. Personall, I believe a lot of what was said in the paper could also be applied to and could help younger people who suffer from social anxiety or stresses which limit their activity in a social setting.

Older adults’ digital gameplay, social capital, social connectedness, and civic participation, Yu-Hao Lee

Yu-Hao Lee's Study was really interesting to read, as it highlights the link between social decay between elderly people and their ability to continue to be social in and around video games.

It was nice that this paper didn't just talk about accessibility and physical benefits that playing games comes with, but really went deep into the social angle. I really hope we, as a generation of games, can continue to include and promote the playing of games by Elderly people as it is obvious it is really great for their health.

Author

Jaz

Game developer who studied at Solent University with some truly amazing people. Now studying a Masters of Game Design at UCA Farnham. Also Co-Founder of Stack Interactive.


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