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 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.

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

These 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. For more information about the games, see our Blog on Popular Games

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 we have created support materials for mentors to use and conducted a longitudinal study to assess the effectiveness of the training approach.

For more information about the project go to What is GIRDA

Final International Dissemination Workshop, London, UK 1st July 2019, at 1.30 pm,

Innovative approaches for mentoring and supporting the learners for digital adoption. For more information and to apply to attend this event go to News and Events