Lessons Learned from a Human-Centered Design of an Immersive Exergame for People with Dementia
Sukran Karaosmanoglu, Sebastian Rings, Lucie Kruse, Christian Stein, Frank Steinicke
CHI PLAY 2021
Session: Games for Health
Cognitive-physical exercises can reduce the progression of dementia. However, traditional methods often induce problems (e.g., lack of motivation), whereas the success of recent virtual reality (VR) exergames such as Beat Saber may provide a playful, motivational, and immersive alternative. Yet, until now, it remains unclear which game mechanics, concepts, and designs work best for people with dementia, and how to implement exergames for and with this user group. In this paper, we adapted a human-centered design approach to address the specifics of developing VR exergames for people with dementia. This includes semi-structured interviews with stakeholders and contextual inquiries to better analyze the user requirements. Based on our analysis, we present Memory Journalist VR – a novel VR exergame specifically designed for people with dementia in a participatory design process. We report the qualitative evaluation based on the feedback gathered in five focus group sessions. Finally, we discuss the lessons learned, which provide important insights for the design of future VR exergames for people with dementia: (i) creating social gaming activities with a focus on shared aspects, (ii) support of an inverse game flow channel addressing decline and variance in cognitive-physical abilities, and (iii) ensuring a safe VR exergame experience.
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