Older Adult Video Game Preferences in Practice: Investigating the Effects of Competing or Cooperating
Video game interventions with the aim to improve cognition have shown promise for both younger (e.g., Powers et al., 2013) and older adults (e.g., Toril, Reales, and Ballesteros, 2014). Most studies suggest that fast-paced action games produce the largest benefits, but a recent video game intervention with older adults found that an action game intervention can result in poor adherence (Boot et al., 2013). To increase intervention adherence, we investigated older adult video game preferences that might bolster adherence by having participants play a competitive game (Mario Kart DS) or a cooperative game (Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga) alone or with a partner. Although hypotheses regarding cooperative and multi-player gameplay were not supported, converging evidence suggests multi-player game play may lead to greater enjoyment, which was related to intervention adherence in a previous study (Boot et al., 2013). Insights for gaming intervention studies in older populations are also provided.