Publication: Designing Video Games for Older Adults and Caregivers

Providing care for older adults is a challenging task, particularly when close family members are involved: instead of spending quality time with the other person, caregiving relationships often focus on daily needs of the older adult, leaving little room for persons to communicate outside the caregiving context. In this paper, we examine the design of interactive technologies to support caregiving relationships through play. We present an exploratory study where ten caregiving dyads played cooperative motion-based video games, and follow up with two case studies to analyze how video game play affects older adults and family caregivers. Our results show that playing games generally represents an enjoyable activity for older adults and caregivers that can be integrated into the caregiving context. Based on our findings, we highlight design opportunities, and outline core challenges that need to be addressed to design accessible games that provide positive shared experiences for a wide range of caregiving dyads.




Kathrin Gerling
University of Lincoln
Regan Mandryk
University of Saskatchewan


Gerling, K.M., Mandryk, R.L. 2014. Designing Video Games for Older Adults and Caregivers. In Meaningful Play 2014, East Lansing, MI, USA. 24 pages.


@inproceedings {345-caregiver_camera-ready,
author= {Kathrin Gerling and Regan Mandryk},
title= {Designing Video Games for Older Adults and Caregivers},
booktitle= {Meaningful Play 2014},
year= {2014},
address= {East Lansing, MI, USA},
pages= {24 pages}