A systematic literature review of the impacts of digital games designed for older adults

Ya Ling Wang*, Huei Tse Hou, Chin Chung Tsai

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


There is a growing body of research which explores the benefits to the elderly of playing digital games for knowledge acquisition, various skills enhancement and well-being. However, few systematic literature reviews have highlighted and updated the trends and findings regarding digital games designed for older users and learners. Also, a forced dichotomization of the impacts, and discussing a single outcome or purpose of playing digital games as in the previous reviews may provide limited information because digital games may simultaneously produce multiple rather than a single dominant impact. Accordingly, this review aims to investigate and characterize the literature on the mixed impacts of playing digital games that engage older adults aged 65 years or above. Search terms identified 67 papers from 2013 to 2018 which revealed empirical evidence regarding the outcomes of digital games engaging senior adults. Furthermore, a multidimensional framework involving various dimensions to categorize digital games engaging senior adults was developed. Overall, the current review framework features both the needs and characteristics of older adults and the content and types of digital games. The findings regarding the integration of games and the elderly’s needs and living experience are also discussed, and suggestions for future research are offered.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
JournalEducational Gerontology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Jan 2

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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