The opportunities and challenges of serious games for people with an intellectual disability

Melody M. Terras, Elizabeth A. Boyle, Judith Ramsay, Dominic Jarrett

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    33 Citations (Scopus)
    231 Downloads (Pure)


    Serious Games (SG) are increasingly used to deliver education and training to support well‐being, social skills, independent living and online safety. This presents opportunities and challenges for users, developers and educational providers to ensure their benefits are available to all. People with intellectual disability (ID) experience high levels of digital exclusion. This article reviews and synthesises the literature on the use of SG with people with ID. Recent work indicates the importance of the psycho‐social profile of the gameplayer, mechanics and game context. We consider how these factors influence the inclusivity of SG and how they could be addressed. We demonstrate how a psychological perspective illuminates the impact of the user's psychological profile on game use and effectiveness, and explore how culture, personalisation and learning analytics can increase inclusivity of SG. We conclude by identifying wider challenges such as the need for multi‐disciplinary working and a more integrated, conceptual framework for games design which addresses diversity in learning needs.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)690-700
    Number of pages11
    JournalBritish Journal of Educational Technology
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 30 Jul 2018


    • Serious Games
    • Intellectual Disability
    • Psychology
    • Game Mechanics
    • Games Design


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