Ref. 2018Health3

On-line application form

Supervisor name and surname:
Eva Cerezo


Supervisor mail:

Title of the research project:

Intergenerational videogames

Description of the research project:

Older people represent a growing proportion of the world population. Between 2000 and 2050, the proportion of the world’s population over 60 years will double from about 11% to 22%. Besides, the increase of life expectancy has given grandparents the opportunity to interact with their grandchildren and participate in their lives. In this context, digital games may facilitate interactions between older and younger generations, diminishing intergenerational gaps that have increasingly become a norm in today’s society. The term ‘ageism’ has emerged to refer to both the negative attitudes towards older people, and the negative attitudes that older people hold towards young people. Playing digital games together may create a leisure context for common goals, cooperation and equal status that are key factors for successful intergroup interactions and for developing positive intergenerational perceptions.

In this context, emerging technologies can play a vital role in enabling intergenerational game-mediated interactions. Intergenerational Videogames may combine therapeutic and social value, providing older people opportunities to “make creative, playful and social use of their leisure time” leading to meaningful play and successful play experiences.

The consideration old users in the game design, opens the door to the consideration of questions such as co-creation, technology acceptance and personalization to take into account their diverse cognitive and physical abilities. Gender considerations may be quite relevant in these aspects. Usability evaluation with old people, focusing on physiological emotional evaluation, will be another key aspect. This way, the focus will be the definition a conceptual framework that integrates the domain of intergenerational games in its different aspects, including guidelines to design successful intergenerational games and specific metrics to assess intergenerational play experiences. All these issues, in spite of their interest, are almost missing in current state of the art.

The candidate will join the AffectiveLab at the University of Zaragoza, a recognized research group in the area of HCI. The group focusses in multimodal affective interaction and child-computer-interaction. The group has long experience in developing games based on natural interaction and, in the last years, has focused in the creation of pervasive games for interactive spaces. The group also works in the field of physiological emotional sensing to support affective interaction with adults and kids in the areas of sports, healthcare and serious games.

The proposed research project has the support of the Hospital de Gracia (public hospital in Zaragoza with a special service for fragile adults), of the Children and Technology Lab of the Developmental and Clinical Psychology Group at the University of Sussex and of the Imascono company specialized in augmented reality videogames and gamification techniques. All three will collaborate in the formation of the candidate.

This line is aligned with the Action Plan of Campus Iberus, in particular with one of the main tendencies in Health Technologies: Gamification and coaching, which is centred in the development of games to promote healthy habits and prevent illnesses

PHD Programme:

PhD in Systems Engineering and Computer Science.

University of Zaragoza

Supervisor short biography:

Eva Cerezo received a Ph.D. degree in Computer Science in 2002. She is Associate Professor at the School of Engineering and Architecture and Head of the Computer Sciences and Systems Engineering Department at the University of Zaragoza. She leads the AffectiveLab, a research group that focuses on affective multimodal human computer interaction. In particular, her main research focuses in affective virtual humans, tangible interaction and special educational needs children.

She is author of more than 80 international publications with more than 1000 citations She is member of the program committee o reviewer of several international conferences such as “AIPO Congreso Internacional de Interacción Persona Ordenador”, “ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI)”,  “ACM International Conference on Intelligent User Interfaces (IUI)”, ACM Interaction Design and Children (IDC), ACM Conference on User Modeling, Adaptation and Personalization (UMAP), International Conference on Advanced Computer Entertainment (ACE)… She is member of the Executive Board of the ACM SIGCHI Spanish Local Chapter.

Gross annual salary:

22.000-26.000 €

The employment contract in each recruiting institution will apply internal rules so final retribution might slightly differ.

Working hours:
37,5 hours a week

Full time