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Game Design Guide Book for Middle-Aged and Older Adult Players Helps Rewrite Gaming Culture
The online book ‘Game Design Guide for Adults in Their 50s and Older’ helps to increase accessibility for adult gamers A KAIST multi-disciplinary research team published a game guide to respond to the new demands of senior gamers and expand the gaming market. The guide will be helpful for designing interfaces fit for senior groups as a way to minimize the cognitive burdens related to aging. It also helps readers understand older users’ cognitive abilities and socioemotional characteristics. “This guide analyzed the game experience of players in their 50s and older and converted it into a game design element that can be easily referred to by game developers and designers,” explained Professor Young Im Do from the Graduate School of Culture Technology who led the research. The gaming industry is paying attention to the emerging trend of ‘active aging’ and senior gamers. According to the National Purchase Diary Panel Inc., game play time increased significantly in the 45-64 age group compared to other age groups during the pandemic. Despite the growing number of senior gamers, it is still difficult for older novice players to start video games because most commercial games focus on younger players. For example, older players can feel frustrated if the game requires fast reflexes and accurate timing. Font sizes and objects that are too small as well as interfaces that are too complicated can be challenging for senior gamers. The research team presents how to handle these difficulties in game design considering the visual-motor coordination of people in age groups ranging from their 20s to 80s. It also proposes various game elements such as audio-visual elements, cognitive and motor elements, game rules, stories and characters, social aspects, in-app purchases, and advertisements for senior groups. The guide also proposes a game service model and introduces examples of game prototypes that apply supportive technology. For this guide, the researchers operated the “International Game Living Lab”, which is an open space for creating novel and innovative solutions by converging IT technology into daily life. In the lab, ordinary citizens, research institutes, companies, and local communities formed a cooperative network and actively participated in experiments, education, and discussions for finding solutions over three years. Researchers in multi-disciplinary fields, including computer science, psychology, game design, and gerontechnology, covered various methodologies to understand the game experience of adults in their 50s and older. In order to profile players of this age group, three different approaches were performed: visual-motor coordination experiments, an EEG (Electroencephalogram) test, and a gameplay workshop. Then, they converted the results into practical knowledge that can be used in the gaming industry. Professor Kyung Myun Lee from the School of Digital Humanities and Computational Social Sciences at KAIST, Professor Byungjoo Shin from Yonsei University, CEO Junyoung Shin of CareU, and CEO Minseok Doh of Heartverse participated in this online book which is available to the public at https://wikidocs.net/book/7356.
KAIST's graduate, the first Ph.D. holder in games, is appointed professor at Michigan State University in East Lansing
Dr. Tae-Woo Park The academic community recognizes the study in games as a field for research Dr. Tae-Woo Park, a graduate of KAIST, has been appointed a professor at Michigan State University (MSU) in East Lansing. He will start working in August at the Department of Telecommunications, Information Studies, and Media, the College of Communications Arts, MSU. Dr. Park received a doctoral degree in games, the first of its kind in KAIST. His research focus is game design, research, and development. Dr. Park has strived to enhance user experience by incorporating various aspects of everyday life into games and made efforts to introduce measures limiting or preventing game addiction, a major concern among young people in South Korea. Professor Joon-Hwa Song of Computer Science at KAIST, Dr. Park's advisor, commented that "KAIST graduates have been the main actors in the development of Korea's gaming industry. Our efforts to systemize the field of games into an academic discipline have been recognized through Dr. Park's appointment." Dr. Park said that he plans "to apply mobile device and ubiquitous technology and develop games that will not only entertain users but also help them have a better life.”
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