Games help to learn basic skills

The GIRDA project (Gameplay for Inspiring Digital Adoption) addresses the problem of reluctance amongst many older people to engage with digital products. The project aims to help both members of the older population who are reluctant or fearful and also those who work with them to do this. Our approach is to use social games as a gentle introduction. The gentle introduction allows a first taste of the digital world and a social environment that is supportive but also informative. Our work has already shown that using social games as an introduction has significant benefits both in teaching basic skills and in encouraging greater self-confidence in new users.

Altogether 120 people with an age range of 57 to 96 took part in the first round of the study. The people were recruited by the project partners in Austria, Macedonia, Slovenia and the UK.

Our participants tried out a number of different activities such as drawing, jigsaw puzzles, a competitive game to land a beetle on a target, the card game Solitaire and some popular interactive games such as Candy Crush and Crossy Road.

Most of our participants worked in pairs so that they could help each other along. We video recorded the session to capture comments such as:

‘I quite like this game. Can I take it home, it’s fun’.

In the second stage of the project we are developing training guides and testing them  out with more learners.

For more information about the project go to What is GIRDA