The Danish elderly as gamers

Student thesis: Master thesis (including HD thesis)

  • Jakob Nørholm
  • Helene Busk Madsen
4. term, Interactive Digital Media, Master (Master Programme)
This thesis answers the question: Who are the danish elderly as gamers, and how can they be motivated to play other more complicated digital games? The hypothesis is that there are advantages in having elderly playing digital games, but the Danish elderly rarely play digital games. We answer this through a literature review (to get an overview of the existing literature), an online survey (to find out, which digitalt games Danish elderly play, and what they think about digital games), and think-aloud-tests (to see how Danish elderly respond to typical computer games and when they experience difficulties with playing the games). We then design two possible solutions based on our data. We create personas based on our data and use these in the design of two different concepts, that show two different ways to motivate elderly to play more computer games, and help elderly play these games. We send these concepts to the elderly testing games for us for feedback. In this thesis, we confirm our hypothesis, and find out why it is like that. We discover that the Danish elderly primarily play digital card games and small puzzle games. When introduced to new, more advanced computer games, they find the controls difficult to figure out and use and are generally not motivated to continue playing. We design overlays (to make games easier to play) and a campaign (to inform the elderly and give them a more experienced gamer to guide them). This does not motivate them further, but there is some interest, when the elderly are informed about the benefits of computer games. A social angle (playing computer games with their grandchildren) seems like the best approach. The elderly, who provide the current feedback may not have been the exact right audience for the other campaign ideas. The overlays make the games easier to play, but do not help motivate the elderly to play computer games. While in time the people who currently play computer games will grow old, at the present, there is value in showing the current elderly the option of playing computer/digital games, and the benefits they can gain from doing so. And even when they grow old, the aging requires the same design requirements. With this thesis we provide data for future research in gaming and four personas that game designers can use to design games for the elderly. Future research could be creating a larger study, when Covid-19 is under control, and researching the cognitive effects of the digital games the elderly already play.
Publication date31 May 2021
Number of pages255
ID: 413374499