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Lifelong learning with a digital math game: Performance and basic experience differences across age

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review


Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGames and Learning Alliance- 8th International Conference, GALA 2019, Proceedings
EditorsAntonios Liapis, Georgios N. Yannakakis, Manuel Gentile, Manuel Ninaus
Number of pages11
ISBN (Print)9783030343491
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
EventInternational Conference on Games and Learning Alliance - Athens, Greece
Duration: 27 Nov 201929 Nov 2019

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


ConferenceInternational Conference on Games and Learning Alliance
Abbreviated titleGALA


Gaming is acknowledged as a natural way of learning and established as a mainstream activity. Nevertheless, gaming performance and subjective game experience were hardly examined across adult age groups for which the game was not intended to. In contrast to serious games as specific tools against a natural, age-related decline in cognitive performance, we evaluated performance and subjective experiences of the established math learning game Semideus across three age groups from 19 to 79. Observed decline in performance in terms of processing speed were not exclusively predicted by age, but also by gaming frequency. Strongest age-related drops of processing speed were found for the middle-aged group aged 35 to 59 years. On the other hand, more knowledge-dependent performance measures like the amount of correctly solved problems remained comparably stable. According to subjective ratings, the middle-aged group experienced the game as less fluent and automatic compared to the younger and older groups. Additionally, the elderly group of participants reported fewer negative attitudes towards technology than both younger groups. We conclude that, albeit performance differences with respect to processing speed, subjective gaming experience stayed on an overall high positive level. This further encourages the use of games for learning across age.


  • Applicability, Elderly, Game-based learning, Life-long learning, Number-line estimation, Reliability, User-experience

Publication forum classification

Field of science, Statistics Finland