Loos, E. (2017). Exergaming: Meaningful play for older adults? Lecture Notes in Computer Science, 254–265. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-58536-9_21

Abstract: Dutch historian Johan Huizinga [1] viewed games as a fundamental aspect of life. As long ago as 1938, he observed that, next to “homo faber” (man the maker), there is also the concept of “homo ludens” (man the player). The aim of this paper is to explore what we can learn from previously conducted empirical studies about the motivation and capability of older adults to use exergames. We were guided by the following questions. To which extent: (1) Are older adults motivated to play exergames and why is this the case?, (2) Are older adults able to play exergames and why is this the case? and (3) Can the voices of the older players be heard in the empirical studies on exergaming in later life? We conducted a narrative literature review to gain insight, not only into the factors relating to older adults’ engaging in exergames, but also into the ways older adults themselves experience playing such games. To avoid a mainly functionalist perspective on play, we will also include hedonic aspects of playing exergames.

Keywords: exergaming; older adults; meaningful play; narrative literature review

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