Exploring Older Adults' Video Game Use in the PRISM Computer System

Walter R. Boot, Jerad H. Moxley, Nelson A. Roque, Ronald Andringa, Neil Charness, Sara J. Czaja, Joseph Sharit, Tracy Mitzner, Chin Chin Lee, Wendy A. Rogers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background and Objective: As part of the PRISM (Personal Reminder Information and Social Management) randomized field trial, a large group of older adults (N = 150) received a computer system in their home that presented them with the opportunity to play eleven different video games. While researchers have often assessed older adults' gaming preferences and habits through survey data and focus groups, this trial represented a unique opportunity to study gaming behavior "in the wild"over an entire year. Research Design and Methods: We present an exploration of game usage data, individual differences in game preferences and gaming habits, and individual difference predictors of game use. Results: Although few individual difference variables consistently predicted game use and preferences, there were clear favorites among the different games, and results demonstrate that given the opportunity and training many older adults may become active and long-term gamers. Discussion and Implications: Findings have implications for designing video games that older adults enjoy, supporting enjoyable and meaningful interactions with video games across the life span, and for designing cognitive, social, and health interventions involving games.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberigy009
JournalInnovation in Aging
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018


  • Computers
  • Entertainment
  • Technology
  • Video games

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Health Professions (miscellaneous)
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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