CfP: Workshop on ‘Creating Digital Games for Elderly Players’

1st International Workshop in conjunction with Entertainment Interfaces Track, Mensch & Computer 2011

Chemnitz, Germany, 11th-14th September 2011

WEBSITES:
Conference website: http://english.uebermedien.org/

SUBMISSION DEADLINE:
20th June 2011

WORKSHOP DESCRIPTION
Digital games represent a popular leisure activity among large parts of the population, and an increasing amount of casual and social games aims to include new target audiences such as adult gamers. Research results imply that an increasing amount of adult players regularly engages with digital games (Grüninger et al., 2008). Moreover, case studies suggest various positive effects of playing digital games on elderly persons, e.g. regarding the overall emotional well-being (Jung et al., 2009) and a reduction of the depression risk (Rosenberg et al., 2010) among institutionalized elderly. Furthermore, first attempts towards the integration of digital games as leisure activity at nursing homes show a generally high acceptance of entertainment technologies among senior citizens and imply that digital games have a potential of fostering social interaction as well as physical activity among elderly (Ulbrecht et al., 2010).
However, initial results also suggest that commercially available games are not fully accessible to senior players and that the creation of games specially designed for elderly is necessary (e.g. Hanneton & Varenne, 2009). First efforts regarding the creation of senior-friendly game concepts date back to the 1980s and 90s (Weisman, 1983; Whitcomb, 1990). Recently, this issue has been addressed by academia through the examination design of requirements and game design opportunities for elderly (Gamberini et al., 2006; Ijsselsteijn et al., 2007) and the creation of design guidelines for particular game genres such as health games (Flores et al., 2008) and exertion games (Gerling et al., 2010). In addition, recent national and European activities such as Ambient-Assisted Living (AAL) have strengthened the links between research and application in academia and industry.

WORKSHOP GOALS & TOPICS
To encourage existing efforts towards the introduction of digital games to elderly citizens and the creation of senior-friendly games and interaction concepts, this workshop aims to bring together practitioners and researchers to discuss existing issues regarding the use of digital games among elderly persons and to initiate further cooperation between industry and academia. The workshop organizers are currently involved in a number of related projects, such as the Games Development Initiative Ruhr(GDI-Ruhr) and the European AAL-JP FoSIBLE (Fostering Social Interaction for a Better Life of the Elderly).Topics of this workshop include the following areas of research and industry efforts:

  • Entertainment interfaces for elderly persons including experimental hardware such as tangible interfaces, gesture-based input, touch interfaces as well as regular input devices, e.g. mouse, keyboard or remote controls. Furthermore, we welcome reports on the integration of commercially available gaming hardware such as Microsoft Kinect, Playstation Move or the Nintendo Wii Remote.
  • Accessibility and usability issues when designing for the elderly with a focus on (game) interfaces and the creation of usable entertainment technology.
  • Social aspects of digital games for elderly audiences: Networks and communities, approaches towards remote and local multiplayer games for senior citizens, integrating entertainment technology to foster social interaction.
  • The exploration of intergenerational game concepts allowing for joint interaction among seniors and children with a focus on the design of interaction paradigms suitable for all audiences.
  • Game design opportunities including serious games, games for health and general well-being, e.g. cognitive or physical training and rehabilitation for elderly people. Of interest are game design concepts as well as demonstrations of game prototypes.

IMPORTANT DATES
20th June 2011:  Submission deadline
7th July 2011:  Acceptance notification
22nd July 2011:  Camera-ready version
11th – 14th September 2011 Half-Day Workshop (TBC) in Chemnitz, Germany

SUBMISSIONS
We encourage the submission of position papers including case studies and system demonstrations, user studies and evaluations, reports on industry efforts or field reports of practitioners working with elderly. (Detailed instructions and templates can be found on the workshop website, please contact the authors for further information)
Accepted papers will be published in the joint workshop Proceedings of Mensch & Computer 2011. Papers should be submitted in both editable and print format (e.g. DOC & PDF) to the workshop organizers by e-mail: games-workshop-2011@fosible.eu.

ORGANIZING COMMITTEE
Matthias Klauser(1), Kathrin Gerling(2,3), Jörg Niesenhaus(1) and Steffen Budweg(1)

1 Interactive Systems and Interaction Design, University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany
2 Entertainment Computing Group, University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany
3 Interaction Lab, University of Saskatchewan (Canada)

Challenges and Potentials of User Involvement in the Process of Creating Games

As you might remember, I posted some ideas about how to involve users into the process of creating games some weeks ago. Now the journal article is online an can be downloaded as a PDF file (find my article at the very end of the journal).

A colleague and I are working on a follow-up topic so stay tuned for more. I am also interested in your feedback regarding this topic, so feel free to comment or mail me.