Acceptance of gamified virtual reality environments by older adults

Wing Yan Jasman PANG, Lee CHENG

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review

Abstract

The presence of advanced and affordable immersive technology has made available widespread applications of the virtual environment as a digital solution for different sectors, including entertainment, education, and healthcare. While the extant literature has addressed the acceptance of immersive technology by older adults, there is a dearth of research in the gamified context concerning its rehabilitative potential. This paper reports on a study that examined the technological acceptance of gamified virtual reality (VR) environments by older adults. A VR environment comprising six mini-games was specifically designed for the rehabilitative training, leisure and expressive experience of the participants, allowing them to freely engage in the VR gaming experience. Semi-structured interviews with older adults (N = 15) revealed a synergy between the stimulating effects of the video games and the realistic environment afforded by the immersive technology, the games’ perceived usefulness in competency development and life skills training, the difficulties the adults encountered, and their feelings following their first experience with VR. External variables unique to older adults’ acceptance of technology, or which could lead to digital exclusion, such as physical constraints, educational levels, and prior knowledge of technology, were identified. Suggestions were provided to the designers of the immersive technology that could better cater to the needs and characteristics of the older adults, in the process shedding light on design solutions for bridging the digital divide between the elderly and other, younger members of the population. Copyright © 2023 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEducational Gerontology
Early online date11 Jan 2023
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 11 Jan 2023

Citation

Pang, W. Y. J., & Cheng, L. (2023). Acceptance of gamified virtual reality environments by older adults. Educational Gerontology. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1080/03601277.2023.2166262

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