Episode 040: Video Games and the Nature of Aging and Play with Dr. Bob De Schutter

Bob De SchutterDr. Bob De Schutter is a Belgian video game designer and researcher.  He is best known for his work on the design of video games for players in middle through late adulthood.  We discuss video games designed for older adults and why it might be the next frontier for game development.

 

 

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Bio:

Bob De Schutter is a Belgian video game designer and researcher, who is the C. Michael Armstrong professor of Applied Game Design at Miami University (Oxford, OH). He is best known for his work on the design of video games for players in middle through late adulthood.

 

Recommended Book:

“Everything Bad is Good for You” by Steven Johnson.

 

Inspirational Quote:

“« Le talent, ça n’existe pas. Le talent, c’est d’avoir envie de faire quelque chose.»” ~ Jacques Brel

Translation: “Talent does not exist. Talent is really wanting to go do something.”

 

Glimpse into the interview:

ES: What are you the most excited about in your field of work and why?

BDS: By 2045 there could 105 million older adults in the US alone who play games that have positive health and social connectedness outcomes, but this will only happen if we can have content and accessibility that meets their needs. I love this challenge.

ES: Tell us about your most recent project/research?

BDS:We took Virtual Reality to the retirement home and found it very usable in that context. I have finished a project on gamified class rooms as well. I am also about to start work on a game development project that aims to recreate the narrative of a reminiscing elderly female survivor as an interactive game and to sensitize its players about the impact of war on the lives of innocent bystanders.

 

ES: What is the next big obstacle that you see in this field and what implications will this have on the world of science or your study in particular?

BDS:I feel that we need to respect ageing and play better. Aging is not just about age-related decline and play is not just about motivating people to do things they would otherwise not like. If we can make games for older adults that are inclusive and mindful about the nature of ageing and play, then we can make a huge difference in how people retire.

 

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