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Scand J Occup Ther. 2017 Sep;24(5):329-338. doi: 10.1080/11038128.2016.1267259. Epub 2016 Dec 14.

Elderly people's perceptions of using Wii sports bowling - A qualitative study.

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a Department of Social and Welfare studies , Linköping University , Norrköping , Sweden.


The Nintendo Wii is a gaming console with motion-sensitive controls that is making inroads into health care and rehabilitation. However, there is still limited knowledge on how elderly people perceive the use of such a product. The aim of this study was to examine how the use of the Wii Sports Bowling in an activity group was perceived by elderly people. The data consisted of observations and interviews with participants who used Wii Sports Bowling and was analysed with content analysis. The findings are described in three themes; 'The use of the Wii Sports game', 'Engagement in the game' and 'Social interaction around the activity'. Wii Sports Bowling was described as easier to play compared to real-life bowling and was enjoyable and a social activity. The opportunity to meet the group each week was important for the participants. Playing the game resulted in signs of immersion and a flow-like state. The Wii was perceived to be easy to use, to provide a way to socialize with peers and to give opportunities to participate in activities in a new way. More studies regarding elderly people's experiences and apprehensions regarding new technology such as gaming consoles and virtual reality are needed.


Virtual reality; gaming; occupational therapy; qualitative content analysis

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