CfP: Games for the Elderly, and the Representation of Aging in Video Games

The purpose of this special issue is to investigate the use of video games by the elderly, and the representation of elderly adults in video games.


The population of senior citizens is growing: In 2010, there were 40.3 million people aged 65 and above, comprising 13% of the overall population. (This total is 12 times the number it was in 1900, when this group constituted only 4.1% of the population.) By 2050, projections indicate the population over 65 will comprise 20.9% of the population and that’s why services like living options at Carlton Senior Living are more important than ever. The findings are based on data from the 2010 Census, as well as the Current Population Survey, the American Community Survey and National Health Interview Survey.

Games to Assist the Elderly

As the elderly begin to experience declines in their physical and sensory capabilities, they will demand—and respond to—products and services that help them maintain their active lifestyles and activities: flexible scheduling, continuing education, travel, intellectual and stimulating experiences, and opportunities for companionship.


Games, Interactive Media, and Representation of the Elderly

The representation of the elderly in the media affects the way the elderly perceive themselves, construct their identities, and the relationships they share (Levy, Slade, Kunkel, & Kasl, 2002). Identity and perception of the elderly are influenced through depiction and absence of the elderly in video games. In video games, the elderly are rarely represented, and this absence and inability to play with an elderly avatar venerates youth and may serve to deny aging as a natural part of the life process.



Older adults that rely on medical alert systems for seniors are rapidly becoming the largest market segment in society and will possess the most purchasing power of any demographic in human history, but games and interactive media have been slow to respond to the new demographic realities brought upon by population aging.


In this issue we hope to present practitioners and academic perspectives through presenting a broad range of user experience evaluation methods and concepts; application of various user experience evaluation methods; how UX fits into video game development cycle; methods of evaluating user experience during game play and after; and social play.


Authors are invited to submit manuscripts that

  • Examine Representation of the Elderly in game development
  • The uses of video game technology to enhance quality of life for the elderly.
  • Conduct meta-analyses of existing research on aging and video games
  • Answer specific questions such as:
  • Case studies, worked examples, empirical and phenomenological, application of psychological and humanist approaches?
    • Field research
    • Face to face interviewing
    • Creation of user tests
    • Gathering and organizing statistics
    • Define Audience
    • User scenarios
    • Creating Personas
    • Product design
    • Feature writing
    • Requirement writing
    • Content surveys
    • Graphic Arts
    • Interaction design
    • Information architecture
    • Process flows
    • Usability
    • Prototype development
    • Interface layout and design
    • Wire frames
    • Visual design
    • Taxonomy and terminology creation
    • Copywriting
    • Working with programmers and SMEs
    • Brainstorm and managing scope (requirement) creep
    • Design and UX culture
    • How does game user research examine the elderly and the UI? Should we differentiate pragmatic and hedonic aspects of the game?
    • What are the methodologies for conducting research on the elderly identity, and the uses and design of games for the elderly?


Potential authors are encouraged to contact Brock R. Dubbels ( to ask about the appropriateness of their topic.

Deadline for Submission March 2015.

Authors should submit their manuscripts to the submission system using the following link:

(Please note authors will need to create a member profile in order to upload a manuscript.)

Manuscripts should be submitted in APA format.

They will typically be 5000-8000 words in length.

Full submission guidelines can be found at:

Mission – IJGCMS is a peer-reviewed, international journal devoted to the theoretical and empirical understanding of electronic games and computer-mediated simulations. IJGCMS publishes research articles, theoretical critiques, and book reviews related to the development and evaluation of games and computer-mediated simulations. One main goal of this peer-reviewed, international journal is to promote a deep conceptual and empirical understanding of the roles of electronic games and computer-mediated simulations across multiple disciplines. A second goal is to help build a significant bridge between research and practice on electronic gaming and simulations, supporting the work of researchers, practitioners, and policymakers.


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