What Older People Like to Play: Genre Preferences and Acceptance of Casual Games.

Chesham, Alvin; Wyss, Patric; Müri, René Martin; Mosimann, Urs Peter; Nef, Tobias (2017). What Older People Like to Play: Genre Preferences and Acceptance of Casual Games. JMIR Serious Games, 5(2), e8. JMIR Publications 10.2196/games.7025

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BACKGROUND In recent computerized cognitive training studies, video games have emerged as a promising tool that can benefit cognitive function and well-being. Whereas most video game training studies have used first-person shooter (FPS) action video games, subsequent studies found that older adults dislike this type of game and generally prefer casual video games (CVGs), which are a subtype of video games that are easy to learn and use simple rules and interfaces. Like other video games, CVGs are organized into genres (eg, puzzle games) based on the rule-directed interaction with the game. Importantly, game genre not only influences the ease of interaction and cognitive abilities CVGs demand, but also affects whether older adults are willing to play any particular genre. To date, studies looking at how different CVG genres resonate with older adults are lacking. OBJECTIVE The aim of this study was to investigate how much older adults enjoy different CVG genres and how favorably their CVG characteristics are rated. METHODS A total of 16 healthy adults aged 65 years and above playtested 7 CVGs from 4 genres: casual action, puzzle, simulation, and strategy video games. Thereafter, they rated casual game preference and acceptance of casual game characteristics using 4 scales from the Core Elements of the Gaming Experience Questionnaire (CEGEQ). For this, participants rated how much they liked the game (enjoyment), understood the rules of the game (game-play), learned to manipulate the game (control), and make the game their own (ownership). RESULTS Overall, enjoyment and acceptance of casual game characteristics was high and significantly above the midpoint of the rating scale for all CVG genres. Mixed model analyses revealed that ratings of enjoyment and casual game characteristics were significantly influenced by CVG genre. Participants' mean enjoyment of casual puzzle games (mean 0.95 out of 1.00) was significantly higher than that for casual simulation games (mean 0.75 and 0.73). For casual game characteristics, casual puzzle and simulation games were given significantly higher game-play ratings than casual action games. Similarly, participants' control ratings for casual puzzle games were significantly higher than that for casual action and simulation games. Finally, ownership was rated significantly higher for casual puzzle and strategy games than for casual action games. CONCLUSIONS The findings of this study show that CVGs have characteristics that are suitable and enjoyable for older adults. In addition, genre was found to influence enjoyment and ratings of CVG characteristics, indicating that puzzle games are particularly easy to understand, learn, and play, and are enjoyable. Future studies should continue exploring the potential of CVG interventions for older adults in improving cognitive function, everyday functioning, and well-being. We see particular potential for CVGs in people suffering from cognitive impairment due to dementia or brain injury.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Head Organs and Neurology (DKNS) > Clinic of Neurology
04 Faculty of Medicine > University Psychiatric Services > University Hospital of Geriatric Psychiatry and Psychotherapy
10 Strategic Research Centers > ARTORG Center for Biomedical Engineering Research > ARTORG Center - Gerontechnology and Rehabilitation

Graduate School:

Graduate School for Health Sciences (GHS)

UniBE Contributor:

Chesham, Alvin; Wyss, Patric; Müri, René Martin; Mosimann, Urs Peter and Nef, Tobias

Subjects:

500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology
600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health
100 Philosophy > 150 Psychology

ISSN:

2291-9279

Publisher:

JMIR Publications

Language:

English

Submitter:

Vanessa Vallejo

Date Deposited:

13 Sep 2017 10:40

Last Modified:

13 Feb 2018 13:15

Publisher DOI:

10.2196/games.7025

PubMed ID:

28420601

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.99682

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/99682

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