DIGITECH 2015: Exhibit 376

Developing Serious Games to Promote Cognitive Abilities among the Elderly

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Project Team

Edward Agama, Graduate in FAMU

Project Oversight

School: FAMU School of Science and Technology > FAMU Computer and Information Sciences

Faculty Oversight: Dr. Hongmei Chi


Project Motivation: The early prevention of cognitive problems enables the elderly to live happily without a rapid decline of cognitive abilities. “Serious Games”, a growing area of research reveals that they can successfully be employed to train physical and cognitive abilities in elderly people. The elderly often times are constrained by factors such as accessibility, excessive collection of bio data prior to game play and cost of finding and playing existing cognitive games. We propose to develop a suite of web applications, “Smart Thinker”, to cognitively engage the elderly while having fun playing the games. The games are designed to enhance mental health and core cognitive skills including Brain Speed, Memory, Attention and Judgement/Problem Solving skills. These improved skills have the potential to improve the quality of life and wellbeing of the elderly. Below are factors that are pillars of the Smart Thinker game module:

- The human brain needs mental exercise to stay active and alert
- Mental exercises through such games as the Smart Thinker stimulates the brain promoting positive cognitive abilities
- Serious games can potentially delay age related mental illnesses such as Dementia and Alzheimer

The Smart Thinker contains the following key features:
1. Cognitive skills accessed include Memory, Brain Speed, Attention and Judgement
2. Smart Thinker Game Module – A Suite of Games used to evaluate cognitive skills:
2a. HighLow Game – Game Description: A number game and it requires users to decide whether a number is greater or less than previously displaced number. A user uses the upper key on a computer keyboard for a greater number and lower key for a lower number. Cognitive Skills Accessed: Memory, attention and Brain Speed based on game data
2b. Color Game – Game Description: A color game that displays a grid of colors that appears in front of a colored background. Users must select as many colors in the grid that match the background color of the displayed grid. Cognitive Skills Accessed: Accessing the Brain Speed, Memory, Judgement and Attention based on game data.
2c. RPS Game – Description: A game that uses Rock, Paper, or Scissor game concept. In each round, the player is randomly presented one of Rock, Paper, or Scissor. The game round will be played in either Win mode or Lose mode where the player must select the hand that wins against the displayed hand or loses to the displayed hand respectively. Cognitive Skills Accessed: Accessing the Brain Speed, Memory, Judgement and Attention based on game data.
3. Game Data: A player’s game performance is determined by game data which comprises of rounds played, correct points, incorrect points, accuracy, elapsed time, and average round time.

Unique Features

- Game developed for the elderly to engage their cognitive abilities specifically Memory, Brain Speed, Attention and Judgement
- Web application developed using various web application tools such as HTML5 and Phaser
- Simple interface and design to appeal to the target audience
- Easy accessibility through a web portal.
- Smart Thinker games are easy to comprehend.
- Avoids excessive collection of player information

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