Universidad de Salamanca (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN22 Proceedings
Publication year: 2022
Pages: 4203-4209
ISBN: 978-84-09-42484-9
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2022.1006
Conference name: 14th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 4-6 July, 2022
Location: Palma, Spain
Videogames cannot only be used for fun and entertainment. They are presented to older adults as a form of entertainment, but also as a tool for socializing with family and friends. In addition, Videogames have also been increasingly included in educational environments, achieving effective teaching-learning processes through the application of knowledge, decision-making, practice and scenario simulation. Moreover, there are as many videogames as there are multiple functionalities that are possible to achieve depending on the objective of their design. Among the categories of Videogames addressed in the scientific literature, it is worth mentioning “Serious Games” (SG).

The term “Serious Games” denotes digital games designed for purposes that go beyond pure entertainment such as education, training, advertising, research and health. In this way, they are explicitly created as motivational and challenging drivers for older people to pragmatically improve their knowledge, attitudes, cognitive capacity and skills. Compared to traditional interventions, these games may help the elderly to improve their health by enhancing physical and cognitive skills. Serious Games combine motivation, game experience like fun and game flow and training. Therefore, without discarding entertainment, the purpose of SGs goes beyond entertainment itself, given their usefulness in promoting participation in the learning process. Despite the development and emerging interest in Serious Games, there is still a considerable lack of knowledge about its implementation and its benefits in the elderly.

For this reason, the objective of this study is to know the state of the art of the studies carried out on Serious Games in the elderly. We therefore propose to carry out a Systematic Review of the Literature to answer the following research questions:
a) what types of studies are carried out around the Serious Games analyzed in the selected literature;
b) what are the objectives and purposes of the Serious Games analyzed;
c) what is the description of the product or service offered by them;
d) what are the main benefits in their use with elderly.

The research was focused on the database that has a greater scientific impact in the area of social sciences: Web Of Science (WOS). “exergam AND elder*”; “exergam OR video AND game* OR serious AND game* AND elder* OR old*".

The initial results of this research identified a total of 4,540 publications in WOS. Finally, 174 studies that responded to the search criteria were analyzed in-depth. The main results of the current Systematic Review of the Literature reveal how Serious Games have penetrated a range of disciplines and have been proven to be effective instruments for learning and training in the corresponding fields also for older people. Furthermore, the data has demonstrated the potential benefit of technology as an effective strategy to improve physical and psychic activity among older adults. The paper concludes with an attempt to classify the different Serious Games for older people based on the identification of a series of common characteristics present in the studies analyzed in the selected literature.
Technology, Education, Elderly, Systematic Review.