Digital Gaming by Older Adults: Can It Enhance Social Connectedness?

David Kaufman, Louise Sauve

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

It has been well established that social engagement is an important component of positive aging, yet little is known about whether and in what forms digital games can provide social benefits. This paper addresses this issue by discussing research we have conducted during the past four years. The research question addressed in this paper is: Can playing digital games provide social benefits to older adults? To address this question, we provide overviews of four of our research studies that have investigated the social aspects of playing digital games. These are: (1) a face-to-face survey of 463 older adults in Canada who play digital games; (2) an eight-week Wii Bowling tournament involving 73 older adults from 14 long-term care facilities; (3) a four-week Bingo ‘frame game’ study involving 50 older adults in long-term care facilities; and (4) an online survey of 176 older adults who play the Internet game entitled World of Warcraft. The findings of these four research studies are encouraging as we found social benefits in each study. Although many older adults play digital games, a minority play games with others. These findings suggest that promotion and education would be helpful to encourage and support older adults to play digital games with others to gain the social benefits.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHuman Aspects of IT for the Aged Population. Social Media, Games and Assistive Environments - 5th International Conference, ITAP 2019, Held as Part of the 21st HCI International Conference, HCII 2019, Proceedings
EditorsJia Zhou, Gavriel Salvendy
PublisherSpringer Verlag
Pages167-176
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)9783030220143
DOIs
StatePublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes
Event5th International Conference on Human Aspects of IT for the Aged Population, ITAP 2019, held as part of the 21st International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction, HCI International 2019 - Orlando, United States
Duration: 26 Jul 201931 Jul 2019

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
Volume11593 LNCS
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349

Conference

Conference5th International Conference on Human Aspects of IT for the Aged Population, ITAP 2019, held as part of the 21st International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction, HCI International 2019
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityOrlando
Period26/07/1931/07/19

Keywords

  • Bingo
  • Digital games
  • Older adults
  • Social benefits
  • Social connectedness
  • Survey
  • Wii games
  • World of Warcraft

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