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A research project focusing on the question:


"How might we build community/relationship that engages multi-generational family members through gaming?"

I've always been interested in games and technology. Being half-way across the world from my family, I realized that often times, families don't spend enough time with each other. And for most families, the amount of time they spend together is usually around the dinner table.


Hence, I wanted to pursue a topic focusing on bringing families together to spend some much needed quality time together.



Secondary Research

Literature Review

During my literature review, I studied various articles and studies that were done before. I focused on looking at the motivations behind a person's will and want to play games. I found that gaming has been praised for the ability to boost relationships between generations and while gaming has a distinct culture, it welcomes anyone and everyone into its community.

To name some of the sources that I looked at:

  • Comunello, F., & Mulargia, S. (2017). My Grandpa and I “Gotta Catch ‘Em All.” A Research Design on Intergenerational Gaming Focusing on Pokémon Go. Human Aspects of IT for the Aged Population. Applications, Services and Contexts Lecture Notes in Computer Science, 228–241. doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-58536-9_19

  • Osmanovic, S., & Pecchioni, L. (2017). Pass the Control(ler): Shifting of Power in Families Through Intergenerational Gaming. Human Aspects of IT for the Aged Population. Applications, Services and Contexts Lecture Notes in Computer Science, 266–279. doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-58536-9_22

  • Zhang, F., Doroudian, A., Kaufman, D., Hausknecht, S., Jeremic, J., & Owens, H. (2017). Employing a User-Centered Design Process to Create a Multiplayer Online Escape Game for Older Adults. Human Aspects of IT for the Aged Population. Applications, Services and Contexts Lecture Notes in Computer Science, 296–307. doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-58536-9_24


(Download full literature review)

Abstract Pattern 21
Abstract Pattern 17
Concept Map

Concept maps visually synthesize robust amounts of information and complex relationships. It brings new connections into context with the information that is already known. Below is my concept map for my research question:

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PRIMARY Research


Diving into the project, I needed to conduct my own primary research. The three primary research methodologies that I had chosen to pursue were: Interviews, Focus Groups and Surveys.


During the interview process, I had interviewed 4 different sets of parents with kids that ranged from 8 years old to 23 year old. Speaking with parents really gave an insight of how families operate and their relationships with games. It was noticed that a lot of parents played games/had family game nights with their kids when the kids were younger and a lot of them played mainly board games/card games. As the kids grow up, they tend to adopt to video game play while parents tend to spend less time with the kids’ gameplay. Majority of interviewees also agreed that playing games (whether it was a more traditional board/card game or a video game) meant spending quality time with their kids.


I conducted a focus group with parents and their child/children. They were introduced to a new card game called “Exploding Kittens” and were then introduced to Mario Kart on the Nintendo Switch system. I allowed the groups to familiarize the games themselves, and did not interject with the game play. During the card game, the adults/parents were in charge of reading the rules and figuring out the game play, and generally facilitating the game. But when it came to the video games, the roles were flipped. Children were the ones explaining the rules and helping the adults understand how the console worked. However, often times, the child was more absorbed in the game than the interactions between the group.


I sent out an anonymous survey to family and friends, gamers and non-gamers, on discord servers, Facebook groups and group chats. I had a total of 29 responses. The survey acted as a more general questionnaire where I looked for people’s motives and interests towards gaming. What were they seeking to gain from the experience? What are they interested in? What is their comfort level when it comes to intergenerational game play? 62.1% of gamers preferred playing with in-person company (couch co-op) and 92.9% of respondents would like to have a shared gaming experience for intergenerational communities.

Key Findings

The following are the key findings concluded from the research methods.


Older generation participants prefer playing a more tangible tabletop game 


Younger generation participants prefer playing video games 


Tabletop games allow for more 

face-to-face interactions


Video games are more familiar to the younger generation, making the game more  important than the interactions between players


Older generation participants generally pick up games that are familiar to them quicker


Focus Group