Not just for children: Game-based learning for older adults

Nathalie Charlier, Michela Ott, Bernd Remmele, Nicola Whitton

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)


The paper discusses the issue of how to use games effectively with older learners. It approaches the problem from a theoretical and a practical perspective, introducing the rationale and the methodology adopted in the Game-Based Learning for Older Adults (gambaloa) project, which aims to create a thematic network and to share good practice in the field. This paper first introduces and discusses the aims of the project and presents a rationale for the use of game-based learning with adults. The four themes of the project are then highlighted and explored. First, issues of motivation related to adults and games, the assumptions that are commonly made, and the differences between the motivations of adults and children will be discussed. Second, potential use of games for health, wellbeing and rehabilitation is discussed and research into the effectiveness of games in this field is presented. Third, the use of business games, a more established model of learning with adults, is considered, and lessons learned discussed. Finally, the potential of brain training games, for engaging and stimulating older adults, and research in the area will be presented. As a conclusion the advantages and disadvantages of the use games for learning with older adults are discussed and a future agenda for further research in this area is proposed, in the hope that the project outputs could be of help to educators working with older people, educational developers, course designers and industry.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 6th European Conference on Games Based Learning ECGBL 2012
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes
Event6th European Conference on Games Based Learning, ECGBL 2012 - Cork, Ireland
Duration: 4 Oct 20125 Oct 2012

Publication series

NameProceedings of the European Conference on Games-based Learning
ISSN (Print)2049-0992


Conference6th European Conference on Games Based Learning, ECGBL 2012

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