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Games as a pathway to digital skill adoption for reluctant older citizens




Series: Disability and Social Inclusion

Speaker: Dr Mark Springett, Senior Lecturer, Department of Computer Science, University of Middlesex

Please reserve a place by contacting Doria Pilling at (Please include a contact number.)

This seminar will describe work using touch-screen games to teach digital skills to reluctant adopters in later life.

Our initial work focused on investigating the learnability of basic gestures through gameplay. We found that older citizens were able to rapidly acquire basic skills through exploratory action playing simple games. The next phase of the research considered the role of sociality (dyadic peer learning) and light touch mentoring in fostering learning and positive self-efficacy.

We found that mentoring had a role in providing scaffolding in support of initial learning. Those involved in mentoring had an equally important persuasive role in effecting attitudinal and behaviour change. These studies also found that peer interaction had a similarly positive role in attitudinal change through witnessed action, co-operative and synchronous action, non-verbal communication and co-operative theory building during play.

About the Speaker

Mark Springett is a member of the Interaction Design Centre at Middlesex University.  His background is in theoretical and practical aspects of HCI design, particularly design for inclusion. He has a specialist interest in the evaluation and modelling of factors affecting technology adoption, including affective aspects of trust.

He was leader of the EU Erasmus project ‘Gameplay for Inspiring Digital Adoption’ from 2016-19, which investigated the potential of games to improve quality of life and digital engagement of older citizens. He was previously vice-chair of EU COST Action IC0904 ‘Towards the Integration of Transectorial IT Design and Evaluation’.

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When and where

1.00pm - 2.15pmThursday 17th October 2019

AG24a City, University of London Northampton Square London EC1V 0HB United Kingdom