Game Design for Older Adults: Effects of Age-Related Changes on Structural Elements of Digital Games

  • Kathrin Maria Gerling
  • Frank Paul Schulte
  • Jan Smeddinck
  • Maic Masuch
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 7522)


Recent studies report various positive effects on elderly persons playing digital games. Yet, games are rarely designed with an elderly user group in mind. In this paper, this issue is addressed by providing an overview of common age-related changes followed by a summary of game design considerations for senior audiences. The impact of age on game design is discussed based on an analysis of the most important structural elements of games. The analysis shows that age-related changes in users’ cognitive and physical abilities affect the use of games on multiple levels, making the complexity of games and interrelations between different game mechanics a crucial factor when designing for older adults.


Game design older adults accessibility design recommendations 


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Copyright information

© IFIP International Federation for Information Processing 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kathrin Maria Gerling
    • 1
  • Frank Paul Schulte
    • 2
  • Jan Smeddinck
    • 3
  • Maic Masuch
    • 2
  1. 1.University of SaskatchewanSaskatoonCanada
  2. 2.University of Duisburg-EssenDuisburgGermany
  3. 3.University of BremenBremenGermany

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