AGEWELL 2015 Abstracts

Full Papers
Paper Nr: 6

Can Playing Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games (MMORPGs) Help Older Adults?


David Kaufman and Fan Zhang

Abstract: Gerontology researchers have demonstrated that social interaction has profound impacts on the psychological wellbeing of older adults. This paper addresses the question of whether and how playing Massive Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games (MMORPGs) help older adults. We analyzed the relationships of older adults’ social interactions in Massive Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games (MMORPGs) to three social-psychological factors (i.e., loneliness, depression and social support). A total of 176 web surveys were usable from the 222 respondents aged 55 years or more who played World of Warcraft and were recruited online to complete the survey. It was found that enjoyment of relationships and quality of guild play had strong impacts on older adults’ social and emotional wellbeing. Specifically, higher enjoyment of relationships was related to higher social support as well as lower levels of loneliness. Higher quality of guild play was related to higher levels of social support and lower levels of loneliness and depression.

Short Papers
Paper Nr: 8

Tutoring and Assessment Through Games and Emotions


Sintija Petrovica

Abstract: Research in psychology, neuroscience, pedagogy, and cognitive science has shown that emotions (or affect) play a key role in the learning process, decision making, understanding of a problem domain and motivation to learn. As a result, researchers have been working on the creation of affective tutoring systems. Meanwhile, game-based learning is becoming more and more popular and it is considered as an emerging technology that will have a large impact on education in the next 2-3 years. Therefore, there is no doubt that researchers believe that the combination of educational games and affective tutoring systems may improve students’ performance. The aim of this paper is to describe the current state of this research direction and to identify gaps and possible opportunities for the future work. Research shows that the main emphasis is on the adapted teaching/learning process that takes into account both student's knowledge and emotions but the aspect of the assessment, which also is an integral part of this process, has been neglected in tutoring systems that include emotions and game-based interactions.