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Digital Games and Older People from a Theoretical and Conceptual Perspective: A Critical Literature Review

  • Sergio Sayago
  • Andrea Rosales
  • Valeria Righi
  • Susan M. Ferreira
  • Graeme W. Coleman
  • Josep Blat
Chapter

Abstract

Prompted by the authors’ reflection of their own Human-Computer Interaction research on games and older people, and analysis of previous and related works, this chapter presents a critical literature review of contemporary research on digital games with older people. This chapter argues that much of the research conducted in this field has been performed in a descriptive fashion, without strong integration of important theories of ageing, such as Socioemotional Selective Theory, Selective Optimization with Compensation Theory, Life-Span Theory of Control, Continuity and Disengagement theories, despite their relevance and potential for developing systematic and cross-disciplinary knowledge. This chapter shows the relationship between these theories and key elements of research on games with older people, such as emotions and motivations. This chapter also shows that older people are often portrayed as either actual or potential players of digital games, which are widely regarded as being a solution to solve or fix most of their problems. This chapter calls for a re-examining of the way in which older people and digital games are constructed by drawing upon the conceptual tools provided by theories of ageing, in an attempt to co-construct games wherein diversity, agency, life experiences, and identity receive further attention.

Keywords

Older people Digital games Ageing theories Critical literature review Human-computer interaction 

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sergio Sayago
    • 1
  • Andrea Rosales
    • 2
  • Valeria Righi
    • 3
  • Susan M. Ferreira
    • 4
  • Graeme W. Coleman
    • 5
  • Josep Blat
    • 6
  1. 1.Universitat de BarcelonaBarcelonaSpain
  2. 2.Universitat Oberta de CatalunyaBarcelonaSpain
  3. 3.Ideas for ChangeBarcelonaSpain
  4. 4.Télé-Université du QuébecQuebec CityCanada
  5. 5.The Paciello Group (UK) LtdLondonUK
  6. 6.Universitat Pompeu FabraBarcelonaSpain

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