How to Design Game-based Healthcare Applications for Children? - A Study on Children’s Game Preferences

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    Game-based design can be used to develop engaging health applications for children. This engagement can only be realised when design is tailored to their preferences. In this study we investigate game preferences of children and translate these into design recommendations. Game preferences of children aged 6 to 12 were assessed through a questionnaire. Outcomes were classified by means of the 7D framework which divides game content into seven linear domains. Significant differences in mean scores among demographic subgroups were explored.
    Sixty-five children participated (M=9 years, SD=0.24, 36 boys, 29 girls, 8 children with asthma). Data showed high preference for content in domains novelty (Mnovelty=63) and dedication
    (Mdedication=70). Analysis resulted in subdivision of scores based on gender, age and playing frequency. Striking differences in scores were found between boys and girls in discord (Mboys=62, Mgirls=19), intensity (Mboys=60, Mgirls=27), rivalry (Mboys=53, Mgirls=31) and threat (Mboys=64, Mgirls=25). To design games for children we recommend to stimulate curiosity by offering variation and discovery, to enable achievement, learning and social contact. A divergence in preferences for boys and girls must be regarded. Opposed to boys, girls may lose interest in games that have violent or scary content, that are mainly competitive or demand continuous effort.
    Original languageEnglish
    Number of pages9
    Publication statusPublished - 19 Jan 2018
    Event11th International Conference on Health Informatics 2018 - Funchal, Portugal
    Duration: 19 Jan 201821 Jan 2018
    Conference number: 11


    Conference11th International Conference on Health Informatics 2018
    Abbreviated titleHealthINF 2018
    Internet address


    • Gaming
    • Game-based
    • Game preferences
    • Gamification
    • Game design
    • Framework
    • Classification
    • Taxonomy
    • Player type
    • Telemedicine
    • eHealth
    • Health informatics
    • Tailoring
    • Adherence
    • Engagement
    • Children
    • Asthma


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