Experimental Activity: Co-designing board/digital games for intergenerational learning

Participatory game design in intergenerational contexts

This experimental is to LEARNSHARE and BUILD FUTURES


Wednesday 24th of August from 14h00 to 17h00




Participatory game design fosters the ability to promote inclusivity and strengthen social solidarity among diverse groups. The participatory game design is a process aiming to engage end-users not only as a players or testers but as active participants of the game design decision process. The process and experience of collaborating on a game design project provides participants with meaningful, fulfilling experiences that may bring them closer together and help raise critical awareness of the lived experiences of other individuals and groups, specifically related to seniors and technology in this context.

The main objective of this workshop is to examine how through collaborative and participatory methods, seniors and students work together to examine perceptions of seniors on technologies, modes of usage, older and newer technology, and ageism and technology. These themes are incorporated in the design and creation of the digital game. Furthermore, we will explore and bring forward how intergenerational dynamics in terms of seniors’ interest and usage of technologies contribute to the creation of the games, and ways in which seniors themselves co-design the games collaboratively with the students.

The expected outcome is twofold: first participants will learn the basic mechanics of coding for Scratch . Scratch is a cloud based visual programming software used to create interactive stories, games, and animations. Second, participants will engage in a co-design process that focuses on intergenerational perspective son gaming design and development


Education, Intergerational leaning, game design, participatory methods


Scratch is a cloud based visual programming software used to create interactive stories, games, and animations developed by Mitch Resnick of the Lifelong Kindergarten Group at MIT’s Media Lab. The first iteration of Scratch was developed in 2002 and since has become a popular entry-level platform for several educational settings working with programming language.

Often overlooked is how Scratch can be used in intergenerational and collaborative settings for learning. Our workshop explores that gap between accessible programming software and intergenerational and collaborative game design. Participants of all ages will learn basic Scratch and collaboratively develop games based on themes.

During the first half of the workshop participants were guided through a basic introduction to Scratch; groups will then be formed on the basis that each one had to have representative age groups; prompts will be handed out and groups will spend the rest of the time designing and developing their games.

This research project is funded as a pilot study by a SSHRC partnership grant Ageing, Communication, Technologies (ACT): Experiencing a Digital World in Later Life (PI: Dr. Kim Sawchuk). The research project aims to develop a shared perspective on the experiences on intergenerational participatory game design.

Who should attend? Living Lab Managers and Living Lab practitioners

Capacity: 15-20 people

(Expected duration: half a day)

Session facilitators:

Dr. Giuliana Cucinelli, CONCORDIA University

Dr.Ann-Louise Davidson, CONCORDIA University

Margarida Romero, Universite de Laval


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