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Designing serious games for special user groups-design for somebody approach

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)646-658
JournalBritish Journal of Educational Technology
Issue number4
Early online date2018
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2018
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


This paper presents the Design for Somebody (DfS) philosophy targeted to iterative, user-oriented development of solutions for special user groups. In this article, the DfS is discussed using a game development context. The paper gives concrete examples how the DfS can be used in developing motivating serious games. The paper presents three games which can be adjusted according to the user's abilities. The aim is to generate personalized means to enable and motivate physical, cognitive and social skill development. The development process of the three games is described in order to clarify the DfS approach and the features which are of key importance in game development for special user groups. Authentic user experiences are also presented and discussed. The user experiences and the suitability of the games were investigated through interviews and observations in game test events. The main findings in general indicated the usefulness of the DfS principles and the great interest and positive experiences in special user groups. The findings encourage further research and development of serious games for these target groups.

ASJC Scopus subject areas


  • Design for all, Games development, Mobile technology, Serious Games, Special needs

Publication forum classification

Field of science, Statistics Finland