Visual complexity, player experience, performance and physical exertion in motion-based games for older adults


Motion-based video games can have a variety of benefits for the players and are increasingly applied in physical therapy, rehabilitation and prevention for older adults. However, little is known about how this audience experiences playing such games, how the player experience affects the way older adults interact with motion-based games, and how this can relate to therapy goals. In our work, we decompose the player experience of older adults engaging with motion-based games, focusing on the effects of manipulations of the game representation through the visual channel (visual complexity), since it is the primary interaction modality of most games and since vision impairments are common amongst older adults. We examine the effects of different levels of visual complexity on player experience, performance, and exertion in a study with fifteen participants. Our results show that visual complexity affects the way games are perceived in two ways: First, while older adults do have preferences in terms of visual complexity of video games, notable effects were only measurable following drastic variations. Second, perceived exertion shifts depending on the degree of visual complexity. These findings can help inform the design of motion-based games for therapy and rehabilitation for older adults.

Proceedings of the 15th International ACM SIGACCESS Conference on Computers and Accessibility